A gallon of gasoline in oil-rich Kuwait now sells for as much as $120, and sections of the capital city lack water and electricity, refugees arriving in Jordan said Monday.
"It's getting worse. No petrol, no food. You can't get rice, flour and sugar," said Khaled Abdulrahman.He said that before leaving Iraqi-occupied Kuwait on Friday, "I had to go without any food for a few days."
Abdulrahman said a 110-pound bag of flour costs almost 1,000 dinars, about $3,000 at the official exchange rate. A similar amount sells for about $200 at the black market rate of 5 dinars to the dollar.
It was impossible to say how many people were paying official or black market rates for various commodities.
He said the price increases were caused by the dangers of the trip to Basra, the Iraqi city serving as a principal source of supplies for Iraqi troops based in Kuwait.
He and other refugees said water and electricity were out in some parts of Kuwait City. Others said service was still available in areas where they lived.
All agreed that the telephone service ended abruptly and that prices of many goods were soaring.
A Jordanian refugee who gave his name only as Hamad said he had paid the equivalent of $120 a gallon at the official currency rate for 25 gallons of gasoline. On the black market, the per-gallon cost is roughly $8.
A box of 30 eggs costs about $120 at the official currency rate, after coming from Basra where the price was $27, said a 21-year-old man named Jafar.
Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, is used as a logistics and supply base for the estimated half million Iraqi troops deployed in Kuwait to repulse an expected allied ground assault.
Refugees' accounts indicated that bombs had fallen on civilian areas in Kuwait's port city of Ahmadi, and at Farwaniya, near the airport.
One man, Abdulrahman Mroue, said his daughter suffered a broken arm when a bomb fell through the roof of his house.
Another man said he had seen six apartment buildings destroyed early in the war in the area of Shweib al Shuk, near Kuwait City.
A Palestinian refugee said tensions are growing between many Kuwaitis and members of the large Palestinian community of Kuwait. Many Palestinians have supported Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in his takeover of Kuwait.
He said graffiti on some walls said: "Kill the Palestinians before the Iraqis."