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State of emergency declared in Virginia after gas pipeline cyberattack

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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed an executive order Tuesday declaring a state of emergency to address gas supply disruptions caused by the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline.

The Colonial Pipeline system runs more than 5,500 miles from Texas to New Jersey, delivering about 45% of the fuel for the East Coast. The pipeline was forced to halt operations over the weekend because of a ransomware attack, which occurs when hackers encrypt data and hold its release hostage in exchange for money.

The pipeline is the primary fuel source for many Virginia retailers, according to a news release from Northam’s office.

A USA Today report shows states like Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia may be especially vulnerable because they have limited fuel transportation alternatives. 

A man pumps gas at a Royal Farms on the corner of Beaglin Park Drive and Snow Hill Road.

As of mid-morning Tuesday, GasBuddy had Virginia in the worst shape out of those affected with about 7.5% of stations out.

More:Will gasoline prices spike after pipeline cyberattack? What we know now

More:Colonial Pipeline looking to ‘substantially’ restore operations by end of week

The EPA issued an emergency fuel waiver Tuesday to help alleviate shortages in states hit by the pipeline’s shutdown. That waiver will continue through May 18.

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Source: GANNETT Syndication Service