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Egypt issues warnings over locust swarm

A locust perched on a branch [Julay Cat/Flickr]
A locust perched on a branch, 1 February 2019 [Julay Cat/Flickr]

Egyptian authorities have issued warnings over a swarm of locusts set to plague the country in the coming days, according to Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Arriving via the country's south border with neighbouring Sudan, the locusts have prompted Egyptian farmers to spray their lands with additional pesticides, fearing the effect on their crop. The Agricultural Ministry has also deployed several teams in Aswan and Qena to detect and counter swarms to prevent them spreading further into Egyptian cities.

"The swarms of locusts are now present in Saudi Arabia and some Arab countries, and there are periodic surveys of the border to prevent them from entering the country," Mamdouh Sibai, head of the Central Department of Pest Control at the Ministry of Agriculture, told reporters.

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The latest wave of insects is the result of heavy rains witnessed across the region in October and November, which have provided ideal environmental conditions for the locusts to spawn.

The beginning of 2019 saw the city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia similarly swarmed by locusts, crickets and beetles as a result of the changing weather conditions. Cleaning teams worked round the clock in an attempt to clear the area of the insects to allow the thousands of pilgrims visiting Islam's holiest site to pray.

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