Sri Lanka Faces 13-Hour Blackouts Amid Deepening Fuel Crisis

Sri Lanka has announced 13-hour daily power cuts nationwide starting Thursday as the country’s economic crisis deepens.

The country’s state electricity regulator announced that it will extend a 10-hour power cut on Wednesday by three hours, making it a 13-hour rolling blackout.

An early forecast from last month had estimated a near depletion of fuel supplies for electricity by the end of March, according to the PUC’s website.

Sri Lanka has been imposing large-scale power rationing since March started. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) said seven-hour blackouts were pushed to 10 hours because thermal generators had run out of fuel.

More than 40 percent of Sri Lanka’s electricity comes from hydropower, but this has also been running out because there had been no rains, officials said.

“We made a request to the government to allow the public sector, which is about 1.3 million employees, to work from home for the next two days so we can manage the fuel and power shortages better,” Janaka Ratnayake, PUC chairman, told media outlets.

Sri Lanka has been running out of foreign currency to buy imports of essential goods, including fuel, as it faces its worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948.

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