Huge Swarms Of Locusts Blanket Skies In India
Shocking images shared online show massive swarms of crop-destroying desert locusts clogging up the skies in India.
Locusts have wreaked havoc in a number of areas in the country recently, including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana, and today, June 27, they descended on Gurgaon, near New Delhi, before making their way to Faridabad.
The Gurgaon District Administration issued a warning for the district on Friday, June 26, encouraging residents to close their windows and lock their doors to avoid their homes becoming infested as hundreds of thousands of locusts flew by.
A spokesperson for the administration told The Indian Express:
An advisory has been issued by the Gurgaon district administration for all residents to keep the windows and doors of their houses closed and gather together in the event of a locust attack to make loud noises by beating on tin cans, plates and drums.
Farmers should keep spraying pumps ready. The agriculture department has also alerted its employees, who are making people aware of the precautions to be taken to prevent locust attacks in villages.
Residents took to social media to share images and videos of the infestation, showing the locusts taking up every corner of the sky and settling on trees, rooftops and plants.
The desert locust is reportedly considered the most destructive of the four types of locusts found in India. It is capable of covering 150 kilometres in a day, with numbers multiplying rapidly.
The bugs can eat their own bodyweight in food each day, and it is estimated a swarm of approximately one square kilometre, containing around 40 million locusts, can eat as much food in a day as 35,000 people.
Faridabad Deputy Commissioner Yashpal Yadav said there was no damage to crops in the Gurgaon district so far, because they are ‘flying from Rewari and from above; they have not come down in the fields yet’, but Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai has called an emergency meeting to discuss the situation.
K.L. Gurjar, deputy director of the Centre’s Locust Warning Organisation, said the wind direction was not favourable for transporting the swarm to the capital city of New Delhi, explaining: ‘It would move towards Faridabad and then enter Uttar Pradesh through Palwal.’
The growing issues of infestations are believed to be the result of climate change, with experts saying the breeding of locusts is directly related to soil moisture and food availability.
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