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Locust Swarm In Middle East So Dense It’s Bringing Traffic To Halt

by : Lucy Connolly on : 21 May 2020 14:45

Video footage has emerged from the Middle East showing a swarm of locusts so large it brought traffic to a halt.

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Drivers in Saudi Arabia were forced to slow their cars to a halt as they came to the realisation that the oncoming ‘sand storm’ was in fact a dense swarm of locusts.

One group of friends who were visiting the country, filmed the moment they drove through the surge of bugs. In the video, thousands of the locusts can be seen covering the road surface and the surrounding areas.

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When Hamza Khan travelled to the Middle Eastern country from his home in Pakistan, he never expected he might come across such a scene. In fact, he thought the worst he’d have to deal with while driving would be a bit of dust – or at worst, some road-rage here and there.

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He was more than a little bit shocked to see the swarm of locusts right in front of his eyes, especially when he realised he and his friends would have to drive through the wall of insects – with the road and sky completely covered in the large grasshoppers.

Hamza said:

Me and my friends were in a car when suddenly we saw what we thought was a storm. We thought it was just a sand storm and then a second later we were shocked.

swarm of locustsswarm of locustsCaters News

While the group might have been surprised to see the locusts, the sight is unfortunately becoming a more common occurrence in the Middle East, South Asia and parts of East Africa – with the insects posing a serious threat to food security and livelihoods within the region.

Locusts are capable of travelling distances of around 90 miles a day, with the insects demolishing vast acres of crops in their path and leaving a trail of destruction wherever they go.

In East Africa alone, the country has this year had its worst infestation in decades, with hundreds of billions of locusts swarming through various regions such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar – as well as along the Iranian coast.

Africa Locust OutbreakAfrica Locust OutbreakPA Images
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A first wave of locusts was the worst reported plague in some areas for 70 years, with some swarms reported to be as big as the Russian city of Moscow.

The UN, which has described the situation as being ‘extremely alarming’, is now calling for international help to fight the huge swarms. The organisation has enlisted the help of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which is continuing to battle against the infestation.

Having now increased its desert locust funding appeal to $153.2 million, the FAO is working to provide surveillance support and support for aerial and ground spraying across 10 impacted countries.

Locusts descend East AfricaLocusts descend East AfricaPA Images

So far, over 240,000 hectares have been treated with chemical pesticides or biopesticides, with 740 people trained to carry out ground locust control operations.

Hopefully the swarms will be brought under control soon.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: News, Animals, East Africa, Locust Swarm, Locusts, Middle East, Traffic