Swarms Of Locusts Are Covering The Skies In India

2020 has been a year to remember. Between the protests and the pandemic, we may feel as if there is nothing more to report. But now, we have a swarm of locusts invading parts of India and Pakistan.

Like other areas of the world, India and Pakistan are reeling from coronavirus cases that are currently on the rise. Those areas are now being invaded by desert locusts, including over two dozen districts in India, according to a BBC News report. Some of the hardest impacted states include Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat. They also declared a nationwide emergency in Pakistan during February, saying that the locusts were more plentiful than they have seen in over two decades.

Locusts include a number of species of short-horned grasshoppers that move around during a swarming phase and strip fields of green vegetation. They can result in significant crop loss or, in some cases, complete loss. Farmers claim to be battling the “worst locust plague in nearly three decades” and are seeing the destruction of acres of crops. Food prices are soaring as a result of the loss. Some swarms are up to 4 miles long. Considering the fact that an adult locust can fly up to 93 miles a day, they can reach distant areas and cause significant crop loss along the way. On average, a small-sized swarm of locusts could eat enough food in a day that would feed as many as 35,000 people.

The director of Pakistan’s Department of Plant Protection, Muhammad Tariq Khan, talked to BBC, saying: “The situation is much more serious this year not only in Afghanistan, India, Iran and Pakistan but in all the frontline countries in Africa, and the Arabian peninsula.”

The director of India’s Locust Warning Organization, KL Gurjar, added: “We are battling a major locust attack from across the border. This is the biggest invasion in nearly three decades. The swarms are very big and they have migrated from across the border after breeding a month earlier than we were expecting.”

CNN reports that tractor mounted sprayers on 20 fire engines are being used by state officials in 11 districts. They are spraying pesticides and water, along with using drones to spray pesticides in two districts in Rajasthan.

An area southwest of New Delhi, Gurgaon, has been the source of a number of pictures and videos shared on social media. “A swarm of locusts has reached Mahendragarh district and is expected to reach Rewari border. Under the circumstances, Gurugram administration has issued an advisory that people must keep their windows shut and make noise by clanging tin boxes, utensils and dhol so that locusts can’t settle at a place,” the administration said.

The administration also said that farmers should be ready with spraying pumps. Employees of the agriculture department have been alerted and they are preparing people to take the proper precautions when locusts attack their villages.

2020 has been quite a year and it’s only half over!

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