An unexpected shortage of gas Monday afternoon hits the provincial headquarter town of northern Sierra Leone, several sources said.

Residents here in Makeni city were seen dashing from one station to the other in search of gas.

Surrounding villages and/or towns were also affected by the sudden gas shortage, sources say.

TV-News24 witnessed residents – mostly commercial motorcyclists and drivers – queuing around gas stations to access any available gas.

People who spoke to TV-News24 say they only knew of the gas issue when they went to buy gas, and noticed the stations weren’t in operation.

“It was around 1 p.m. [local time] when I went to a fuel station at Magburaka road, when I noticed the station was locked and I saw nobody around. I went to the other [station] opposite the clock tower at the city center, where I met scores of colleague riders and other residents in lines. It was there l learnt there’s a shortage of gas in Makeni,” Abdulai Koroma, a commercial motorcyclist, said.

It’s unclear what has triggered the sudden gas shortage – and it’s resulted in increased prices at black market places.

A liter of gas was selling for Le10,000 ($0.92) in local currency, it’s now being sold at Le15,000.

Of the many gas stations in town, only one was observed opened and selling gas.

But no sooner people noticed it was opened and rushed there, it closed again – because of the pandemonium that broke out.