Hundreds of Billions of Locusts Are Swarming Through East Africa, Iran and Pakistan in the Worst Plague for a Quarter of a Century, Threatening Crops and Livelihoods

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These insects of the apocalypse eat their own body weight in food every day.

And they are breeding so fast that numbers could grow four hundredfold by June.

Biblical swarms of billions of locusts invade East Africa, Iran, Pakistan and Middle East in 2020
Biblical swarms of billions of locusts invade East Africa, Iran, Pakistan and Middle East in 2020.

In January, the UN appealed for $76m (£59m) to tackle the crisis. That figure has now risen to $138m. But so far, only $52m has been received.

The main threats are in East Africa and Yemen, as well the Gulf states, Iran, Pakistan and India.

Map showing the current situation of the record-breaking locust plague in 2020,locust plague east africa iran pakistan middle east march 2020
Map showing the current situation of the record-breaking locust plague in 2020. Locust map by FAO

Most recently, locusts have been seen in the Democratic Republic of Congo and swarms have arrived in Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar and along the coast of Iran.

But locals and officials say there are 3 times more than at the beginning of the year:

This video below was captured at the border region between Pakistan and China. It features a massive tornado of locusts heading into Southern China.

Millions of acres of crops have already been destroyed and all attempts to contain or eradicate these pests have failed so far in India, Pakistan and Africa.

Aerial and ground spraying combined with constant tracking of the swarms are viewed as the most effective strategies. But aircrafts are in short supply.

locust plague risk map 2020
Locust plague risk map 2020. Locust map by FAO

Currently, Ethiopia was using five and Kenya six for spraying and four for surveying. But the Kenyan government says it needs 20 planes for spraying – and a continuous supply of the pesticide Fenitrothion.

Now look at this plague invading an airport on the Abadan Island in southwest Iran:

And here some of those critters in the sky:

The Chinese government announced in February it was sending a team of experts to neighbouring Pakistan to develop “targeted programmes” against the locusts.

locust plague 2020 forecast map
locust plague 2020 forecast map. Locust map by FAO

According to reports, China is ready to send 100,000 ducks to its border to devour the insects, telling the birds were “biological weapons,” capable of eating more than 200 locusts a day (chickens can ‘only’ eat about 70 locusts in one day. What about the locusts themselves then?

Desert Locust situation as of 10 March 2020

New swarms forming in Horn of Africa

The situation remains extremely alarming in the Horn of Africa, specifically Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia where widespread breeding is in progress and new swarms are starting to form, representing an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods at the beginning of the upcoming cropping season.

KENYA

Widespread swarm breeding continues in northern and central counties where an increasing number of hopper bands and first-generation immature swarms are forming.

This may be supplemented by new-generation immature swarms arriving from Somalia.

Further concentration is expected in Marsabit and Turkana. Aerial and ground control operations continue.

ETHIOPIA

Breeding continues within a widespread area of Oromiya and SNNPR regions, including the Rift Valley, where early instar hopper bands are forming in some places.

Immature swarms are present in the south where cross-border movements are likely from adjacent areas of Somalia and Kenya.

Aerial and ground control operations continue.

SOMALIA

Late instar hopper bands, maturing adult groups and at least one mature swarm on the northwest coast where egg-laying continues.

Ground control operations underway with biopesticides.

SUDAN

Late instar hopper band, fledglings and immature adult group and swarm on the southern coast of the Red Sea near the Eritrea border.

Scattered adults in Tokar Delta, the northeast and in the Nile Valley.

ERITREA

Immature adult groups on the northern coast of the Red Sea near the Sudan border.

Hopper groups on the Buri Peninsula.

Middle East locust brewing

SAUDI ARABIA

Mature swarm and laying adult groups near the Persian Gulf between Dammam and Qaryat Al Ulya.

Scattered adults on the central Red Sea coast.

KUWAIT

Immature swarms in the north and near Kuwait City.

UAE

Immature swarm on the western coast near Qatar.

South Asia populations face second run

IRAN

Swarms laying eggs in the southwest (southern Khuzestan, Busherh, southern Fars, western Hormozgan provinces) that will start to hatch later this week and form hopper bands.

Local breeding continues in the southeast where hoppers are forming groups and bands in eastern Hormozgan.

Control operations are in progress.

PAKISTAN

Mature adult groups laying eggs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Dera Ismail Khan, Lucky Marwat) and Baluchistan (Dalbandin, Kharan, Khuzdar, Washtuk, Turbat) that will hatch during the second half of March and form hopper groups and small bands.

New generation immature groups and small swarms are likely to start forming in Baluchistan by the end of March.

This record-breaking locust infestation is not close to an end and will continue threatening crops and livelihoods in the years to come. More apocalyptic and biblical plague news on Strange Sounds and Steve Quayle. [FAO1, FAO2]

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Iran a Coup has taken place , Khamanie ordered IRGC and Iranian Military be in charge of country. Soon PR Rohani will resign or he will be refugee to USA? Is it good news or bad news? It depends if the new Military make way for new elections with stealing votes, EX PR Ahamadi Nejad also will be playing a role in this COUP which already is taken place. They have sent all soldiers and IRGC home only one loyal are staying ? Phase 1 and Phase 2 and Phase 3 will be happening in 2 months and respectively? Can this coup make new government for better or worst yet to be seen?
    https://ch1.cc/
    Jeff that is truth they kill Christians and others can you not seen how many mass grave in IRAN in city of Qoum has been created for 100,000 just in one city?

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