Tags: locust | bible | egypt

Locust Swarms of Biblical Proportions Imminent in Egypt

Locust Swarms of Biblical Proportions Imminent in Egypt
(Reuters)

By    |   Friday, 22 February 2019 02:26 PM

Massive locust swarms of biblical proportions are engulfing the shores of the Red Sea as they bear down on Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Earlier in the year the insects swarmed holy sites in Mecca, conjuring images of biblical times, The Jerusalem Post reports.

Now they are posing a major threat to food security in the Middle East as the infestation of desert locusts in Sudan and Eritrea continues to spread.

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) noted that the increase in locust population was triggered by heavy rainfall in October, sparking two generations of breeding. At issue is that the insects could affect national food security if interventions are not successful. 

According to The National, an adult locust can consume its body weight in fresh vegetation per day. In 24 hours, a small swarm could eat enough food to feed at least 35,000 people. Compounding the situation is that a female can lay around 300 eggs. Swarms can expand dramatically, flying hundreds of miles a day and stripping land bare as they travel.

"Once they get into rain-fed crops on the edge of the desert, grown by poor farmers, they’re eating an entire livelihood, and then they move into the country and affect national food supplies," said FAO’s Senior Locust Forecasting Officer Keith Cressman, according to the Post. "The next three months will be critical in bringing the locust situation under control before the summer breeding starts."

Cressman explained that, while the locusts were normally present in low numbers in the desert and did not cause massive problems, large rainfall could cause them to rapidly multiply. Eventually they would form "hopper bands or swarms of adults, composed of billions of individual locusts," he said. 

The situation has been deemed an outbreak which, according to the Post, is the lowest of three levels of locust invasions.

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Massive locust swarms of biblical proportions are engulfing the shores of the Red Sea as they bear down on Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Earlier in the year the insects swarmed holy sites in Mecca, conjuring images of biblical times, The Jerusalem Post reports.
locust, bible, egypt
307
2019-26-22
Friday, 22 February 2019 02:26 PM
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