Rain rids Cairo of locusts

Rainfall across two of Egypt’s major cities is chasing away a swarm of locusts that descended on the country three days ago.

Cairo was the latest city to be hit by the locust swarm
Cairo was the latest city to be hit by the locust swarm

After a day of panic caused by swarms of pink locusts, Cairo‘s 13 million residents awoke to find the pests had gone after light rainfall forced them to migrate out of most of the city’s regions.


The migrating locusts swarmed in Cairo after sweeping through the port city of Alexandria flying into the country from the Western desert and Libya.


Despite months of advanced warnings, the government was unable to prevent the locusts from making landfall in Egypt.


Minister of Agriculture Ahmad al-Laithy told the Egyptian public that the “50 or 60 millions locusts are no threat to the public or the agriculture”.


He said the pink locusts had not fully matured and do not usually feed under temperatures of 30 degrees celsius.


By late Thursday afternoon, al-Laithy said his government had more than 50 eradication teams working in conjunction with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to us pesticides to kill the locusts.


The last time Egypt was faced with a locust swarm was in 1962.


Curiosity peaked


The city’s residents secured their doors and windows to stop the pests getting in.


Pink locusts have made it as farnorth as Cyprus and Lebanon

Pink locusts have made it as far
north as Cyprus and Lebanon

However, after it was realised the locusts were relatively harmless, curiosity peaked. Many residents tried to capture them for closer inspection while others whipped out their cameras and took pictures.


The locusts, which measure up to 7cm, live for six months, eat their weight in crops, and are able to traverse a maximum of 120km a day, using wind to their advantage.

Source: Al Jazeera

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