Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled his official residence in Colombo on Saturday, July 9. He remains president of the country and is now protected by the army in an undisclosed location, a source from the Sri Lankan defense ministry said.

Local television channels showed images of hundreds of people climbing the gates of the presidential palace in the heart of the economic capital. Tens of thousands of people had previously taken part in a demonstration to demand the resignation of Mr. Rajapaksa, held responsible for the unprecedented economic crisis hitting Sri Lanka.

On Friday, an indefinite curfew was declared in Colombo, the country’s largest city, as thousands of protesters were already beginning to flock to demand the president’s resignation.

The island nation is suffering from an unprecedented shortage of basic necessities and its 22 million people have been suffering from runaway inflation and prolonged power cuts since the start of the year.