Fuel shortages continue in southeast US

Washington, May 16 (IANS): There are still widespread fuel shortages in the southeastern parts of the US, even after the major gas supplier Colonial Pipeline Co. announced a return of its entire system to normal operations after a ransomware attack forced the company to shut its network for almost a week.

In Washington D.C., the nation's capital, 80 per cent of gas stations were without fuel as of Saturday, according to the latest data from GasBuddy, an app that tracks fuel prices and demand.

In North Carolina 63 per cent of stations are in shortage, in Georgia and South Carolina more than 40 per cent, and in Virginia 38 per cent, reports Xinhua news agency.

The company said on Saturday that its pipeline is now delivering millions of gallons of fuel each hour to serve all markets, including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C., Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The May 7 cyber attack had forced the company to shut down approximately 5,500 miles of pipeline one week ago and triggered widespread fuel shortages in the southeast and panic buying in some states.

Colonial carries nearly half of the fuel supply on the East Coast, including gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil and jet fuel.

The company initially restarted operations on May 12, but warned that the pipeline would not be fully functional immediately.

The company said it would invest in the necessary resources to maintain safe and reliable pipeline operations.

"Since this incident began, we have been clear that our focus was on the safe and efficient restoration of service to our pipeline system," the company said in a tweet.

"That is what we have achieved through the commitment and dedication of the many Colonial team members.

"Our team members across the pipeline worked safely and tirelessly around the clock to get our lines up and running, and we are grateful for their dedicated service and professionalism during these extraordinary times," it added.



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