Ordinary people in Venezuela are bearing the brunt of the ongoing power struggle in the country and last week’s blackout.
While the power outage in the country which holds the world’s largest oil reserves has shut down oil production and processing operations as well as the main oil export terminal, the blackout has caused massive shortages of running water.
Residents in the town of San Diego in the Carabobo state woke up to see black stuff running from their taps on Wednesday in what appeared to be water contaminated with crude oil.
Local journalist Heberlizeth González posted a video on Twitter, showing that water in the area is not suitable for consumption, and saying that the situation is “terrible” and there are districts without water service for two months.
#13Mar La situación por falta de agua en San Diego es terrible. Hay sectores que llevan más de 2 meses sin el servicio, igual que otras zonas de Valencia y Los Guayos.
— Heberlizeth González (@Heberlizeth) March 13, 2019
Without power, the utilities have not been able to pump water to the homes.
Other residents in the town of San Diego also took to Twitter to complain about the contaminated water running from their taps, Daily Mail reports.
Sky News chief correspondent in Caracas, Stuart Ramsey, reports that people in Venezuela are desperate to find water and that the capital doesn’t have power yet to pump the water. There have been many reports that people, including children, have gotten very ill from contaminated water or food, Ramsey reports.
The Venezuelan National Assembly, dominated by the opposition, has declared a state of alarm over the blackout that the Maduro government blamed on a U.S. cyber-attack and that plunged the struggling country into darkness and chaos for five days.
The Venezuelan government said on Tuesday that some electricity has returned in some areas, Associated Press reports. Meanwhile, Venezuela’s attorney general Tarek William Saab announced on Tuesday that he had launched an investigation into opposition leader Juan Guaidó over suspicions that he had been involved in the power blackout.