Locust invasion: ‘Biblical’ plague sends terrifying dark cloud over India

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A terrifying swarm of locusts have formed a dark cloud over the grey skies of Gurgaon – putting authorities on red alert. On Saturday afternoon the short-horned species of grasshopper made a formation over the northern city – located south west of New Dehli.


A horrific video showed the locusts whizzing past the overcast skies before locals reported seeing the swam settle upon trees, rooftops and plants.

The pests travelled on their path of destruction more than two kilometres towards the capital.

K L Gurjar from the Ministry of Agriculture said: “The swarms moved from west to east.

“They entered Gurugram around 11.30am.”

India’s environment minister Gopal Rai has urged officials to remain on alert ahead of another outbreak.

Authorities in India faced an outbreak of locusts in May destroying thousands of acres of farmland.

Last month a swarm devastated crops in Rajasthan before spreading to decimate harvests across Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

Earlier this month in neighbouring Pakistan, a national emergency was declared following an invasion.

The pests wreaked havoc across farmland in the eastern Punjab, southern Sindh and southwestern Baluchistan provinces.

The scale of the disaster even forced officials from India and Pakistan to briefly work together to combat the attack.

The Foreign offices of India and Pakistan have together been communicating with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and its Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in South-West Asia (SWAC).

There are four known species of locusts found in India – desert, migratory, locust and tree.

The desert locust which is most commonly found around the world is the most destructive.

Locusts are easily identifiable by its bright red wings and can travel more than 70 miles in a single day.

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The United Nations (UN) estimates a swarm of locusts can contain anything between 40-80 million insects.

A swarm in those numbers is capable of digesting the same amount of food in a day as three million people

According to the National Geographic, each individual desert locust can eat its entire body weight in a day – as a result such a swarm would decimate 423 million pounds of crops.

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