The Middle East's party capital was plunged into near-total darkness on Saturday night as Lebanon's electricity supplies turned off nationwide. Beirut, normally bustling on weekend, was pitch-dark in places, as the entire country's public power supply failed due to a fuel shortage. Officials say it will be days before the lights are even partially back on. The only lights were from privately-run generators, themselves hugely expensive and inaccessible to the poor. Even the capital's busiest nightlife district was quiet and subdued. The country is in the middle of severe crisis, with hyperinflation, food and fuel shortages, and political instability. Even when the power is on, it is only on for a few hours a day. Many of Beirut's wealthier residents and expats have left the country.
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