Now, Brazil & Argentina raise locust alarm amid COVID-19 pandemic
While the world is still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, several countries across the globe are facing locust attacks which threaten to trigger food crisis in them.
Let's take a look:
Locusts in Africa
Swarms of locusts in Ethiopia have damaged 200,000 hectares (half a million acres) of cropland and driven around a million people to require emergency food aid, according to the United Nations.
Billions of desert locusts, some in swarms the size of Moscow, have already chomped their way through much of East Africa, including Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti, Eritrea, Tanzania, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda.
Locusts attack India
Huge swarms of desert locusts destroyed crops across western and central India, prompting authorities to step up their response to the country's worst plague in nearly three decades.
Drones, tractors and cars tracked the voracious pests and spray them with pesticides. The locusts have already destroyed nearly 50,000 hectares (125,000 acres) of cropland.
Locusts in Karachi
Locusts, which move in swarms of up to 50 million, have led to the worst plague in Pakistan in recent history, with damages costing billions of dollars and causing fears of long-term food shortages.
Pakistan administration had set up a National Locust Control Centre (NLCC) to monitor and coordinate the anti-locust operation across the country.
Pakistan Army also deployed 5,000 of its personnel in different regions to help tackle the crisis.
Grasshoppers with yellow spots that destroy cops were reported in four of Sri Lanka's 25 districts and authorities warned that the infestation of the local insects could be exacerbated by another species from India.
Agriculture officials said that the local locusts bred quickly, perhaps due to climate change, and could result in large-scale devastation of crops. Banana, coconut and rubber plantations have already been affected.
Brazil and Argentina are monitoring a cloud of locusts that’s crossing South America, issuing warnings in parts of the countries.
The movement of the 15-square-kilometer swarm has been traced to Argentina's northeast.