A new chapter of embitterment has opened for those living in the besieged Gaza Strip, as residents scramble to sustain their daily lives under longer daily power cuts, leaving most of the coastal enclave with just a few hours of electricity a day amid the increasingly cold weather during winter months.
According to a statement released Saturday by Gaza’s electricity company, most districts of the small Palestinian territory will only receive power for three-hour intervals in between 12-hour power cuts, as one of the two generators of Gaza’s sole power plant stopped operating on Friday due to severe fuel shortages.
The statement added that out of the 600 megawatts of power needed in the besieged enclave, less than 150 megawatts are available.
— x Madenie x dan (@MadzXdan) January 7, 2017
Israeli high voltage lines provide some 120 megawatts to the Gaza Strip, the statement said, while Egyptian power lines provide some 20 megawatts to southern Gaza. However, the statement continued, the Egyptian lines have been unreliable recently due to frequent breakdowns at the main station in al-Arish city in North Sinai.
The power cuts create dangerous environments for Palestinians attempting to keep warm in the winter or needing light during the night. On Monday night a father and his two daughters were injured after a fire broke out in their home in Gaza City, which was caused by a candle the daughters lit during a power cut so that they could do their homework.
In May 2015, three small children died in a house fire caused by candles the family used during a power cut. The besieged Gaza Strip has been suffering for years from a serious power crisis, which intensifies in the winter when families have to make do with only a few hours of power a day. Gaza’s usual electricity schedule alternates eight hours of power followed by eight hours without.
(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)