Locusts swarm Lebanon, threatening crops

A swarm of locusts is is currently hovering over the agricultural lands in Northeast Lebanon in what the United Nations agency is describing as a “very rare event”.

According to the agency, the locusts flew to the country after a “change in wind direction”. Currently, army helicopters are spraying the lands to help farmers battle the locusts.

The country’s agricultural minister said large numbers of the locusts have been destroyed, and luckily, there has been no major damage to farms. But the concern right now is that the locusts will make their way to the south of Lebanon.

“We managed in little time to destroy huge numbers but some have escaped and there are large quantities still, mostly in the Hermel area of Marjaheen,” caretaker agriculture minister Abbas Mortada told Reuters.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says the situation is no cause for panic.  

“It is a very rare occurrence… the breeding grounds were on the Red Sea coast, Saudi Arabia’s northern coast, so they were blown in through Jordan and Syria,” Maurice Saade, the FAO representative in Lebanon, said.”But so far it is under control and I certainly see nothing to panic about,” he said.