Watch: India suffers worst locust swarm attack in decades; alert in Delhi

Edited By: Nikhil Pandey WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: May 26, 2020, 01.13 PM(IST)

While locusts had entered into India in April itself, some areas are seeing their worst attack in decades, including Jaipur and parts of MP. Photograph:( Twitter )

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According to the experts, a swarm does not travel in the night. The migratory pests travel during the day time and fly as per the wind direction.

As if the ongoing Covid-19 wasn't bad enough nature is unleashing its fury in several ways. Swarms of locusts have descended over parts of northwest and central India, threatening standing crops, even as farmers continue to face the impact of the national lockdown in place to contain the spread of coronavirus.

On Monday, Huge swarms of locusts entered Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur as the pests spread to wider parts of Rajasthan along with Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana.

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In Rajasthan, the menace has now engulfed 18 districts, while in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, the locust spread has widened even as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned of several attacks at least until early July.

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swarms of locusts

Swarms of locust in the walled city of Jaipur, Rajasthan, Monday, May 25, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Authorities have started spraying chemicals on crops and plants where the insects have been located. Central agencies in this field had alerted the farmers about the locust attack and necessary information had been passed on to villagers as well.

According to the experts, a swarm does not travel in the night. The migratory pests travel during the day time and fly as per the wind direction.

India has witnessed several locust plagues and upsurges from 1812 to 1997, but there has not been any major locust upsurge since 2011. The insects are known to originate in Arabian Peninsula and invade India via Rajasthan-Pakistan border, just before the onset of the seasonal monsoon.

There is consensus that the desert locust could pose a grave challenge in 2020. Thousands of acres of crops could be destroyed by locusts and at a time when the global economy is struggling to recover after the COVID-19 crisis, this is the last problem that the region needs to deal with.

(With inputs from agencies)

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