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Fuel shortages reported in multiple states in the wake of cyber attack on pipeline

Drivers in several southern states have reported finding no fuel at gas stations as a vital pipeline remains shut down due to a cyber attack by a hacker group.

A Friday ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline by the hacker group DarkSide has put fuel in short supply in several states, prompting North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to declare a state of emergency to ensure that drivers have access to fuel.

As of Tuesday morning, a large number of gas stations in the south are reportedly out of fuel.

Patrick De Haan, who is Head of Petroleum Analysis with GasBuddy, has reported that as of Tuesday morning, 7.6% of gas stations in Virginia are out of gas, and that 4.8% of gas stations in North Carolina have run dry. Shortages have also been reported in Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama.

Several social media users provided an on-the-ground look at gas shortages.

A spike in gas prices has also been reported in many areas.

Officials are warning drivers to avoid panic-buying fuel as this will exacerbate shortages.

The Colonial Pipeline supplies about 45% of the fuel (including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel) consumed by the east coast. Pipeline officials said on Monday that they plan to “substantially” restore services by the end of the week. Colonial Pipeline officials are working with the federal government to respond to the hack.

In response to the possibility of fuel shortages, on Sunday the FMCSA issued a 17 state Hours of Service waiver for truck drivers hauling fuel to try to minimize supply disruptions.