The swarm of locusts that tore through Egypt
last week has descended on neighboring Israel, just two weeks before the Passover holiday and, fittingly, in the midst of a whirlwind of media attention for the History Channel's new miniseries "The Bible."
Millions of locusts have reportedly been clouding the skies
in parts of southern Israel as officials try to keep the swarms under control by spraying pesticides on the ground and crop dusting from the air. So far, efforts to eradicate the locusts have been unsuccessful.
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The Ministry of Agriculture has setup a hotline for Israelis to report swarm sightings.
Locusts are known to decimate agriculture, stripping fields and feeding on crops. When they get hungry, a one-ton hoard of locusts can eat the same amount of food in one day as 2,500 humans. Israel has not encountered locusts in nearly eight years, according to NBC News.
The locust invasion comes ahead of the Passover festival, which recounts the biblical story of the Jewish exodus from Egypt. A plague of locusts was one of 10 plagues God imposed on Egyptians for enslaving and abusing ancient Hebrews, according to the Bible.
Stories from the Bible have taken center stage recently, thanks to the History Channel's new miniseries of the same title. Produced by the husband-and-wife duo Mark Burnett and Roma Downey (who also plays Mother Mary on the show), "The Bible" covers Genesis to Revelation
in dramatic retellings in five episodes that are two hours each.
"The Bible" premiered March 3 and drew 13.1 million viewers
, making it the No. 1 entertainment telecast of the year on cable TV. Celebrities and politicians alike, from Oprah to Sen. Marco Rubio, have voiced their praise for "The Bible."
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