12 May North Carolina, Virginia and Florida Announces a State of Emergency as Petrol Supplies Tighten
After a cyber-attack left a major pipeline shut down, the US government urged the people not to hoard fuels after the supplies fell short.
On Friday, a ransomware attack left the nation’s largest pipeline- The Colonial Pipeline, to shut down most of its network. With prices on the rise and fuel stations left with almost no supplies, people in the southeast were seen stocking up petrol, leaving most of the stations out of resources.
According to American Automobile Association (AAA), the average petrol price went up to $2.98/gallon, which was the highest since 2014. Although the US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm stated that there is nothing to be worried about, a state of emergency has been announced in North Carolina, Virginia and Florida.
Granholm also said that while these states rely mostly on the fuel provided by the Colonial, there is no fuel shortage but just a “crunch” in the supply.
According to the source, the Colonial Pipeline’s operator forecasted that they would not be able to restore operations until the end of this week. Cyber experts are saying that this ransomware attack was caused by a cyber-gang called Darkside. Many sources suggest that this group is Russian or Eastern European based as it uses the language used by former Soviet Union republics.
US President Joe Biden said that there is no evidence stating that the Russian government was behind this. The Russian Embassy, based in the US, also denied all the allegations that the country was behind this attack.
As of Tuesday, 7% of petrol stations were out of fuel in Virginia while 5% in North Carolina were out of fuel. The report also suggested that demand went up to 20% since the attack.
Many states have taken out emergency measures to help alleviate this problem. Georgia has suspended sales tax on fuels until Saturday. North Carolina has issued a state of emergency and has suspended all vehicle fuel regulations.