A failure at Zouk Mkayel power station was responsible for six-hour blackouts to 300 000 people in Beirut, and are expected to last until the end of August.

Damage to one unit was expected to take 2 months to repair, at a cost of $400 000. Until repaired, the power shortage will continue. This was exacerbated by a power transformer failure, extending blackouts for a further four hours.

Continuous power returned to Beirut only in 1996, after the civil war that started in 1975. However, seven per cent of the population still suffer outages.