JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Locusts by the millions are nibbling their way across a large part of Africa in the worst outbreak some places have seen in 70 years. Is this another effect of a changing climate? Yes, researchers say. An unprecedented food security crisis may be the result.
The locusts “reproduce rapidly and, if left unchecked, their current numbers could grow 500 times by June,” the United Nations says.
Look - Insects
Here’s a look at what’s going on and where the voracious insects might be going next.
A LOCUST OUTBREAK? WHAT’S THAT LIKE?
Swarms - Desert - Locusts - Clouds - Horizon
The swarms of desert locusts hang like shimmering dark clouds on the horizon as they scour the countryside in what are already some of the world’s most vulnerable countries, including Somalia. Roughly the length of a finger, the whirring insects in huge numbers have destroyed hundreds of square kilometers (miles) of vegetation and forced people in some areas to bodily wade through them.
“A typical desert locust swarm can contain up to 150 million locusts per square kilometer,” the East African regional body, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, has said. “Swarms migrate with the wind and can cover 100 to 150 kilometers (62 to 93 miles) in a day. An average swarm can destroy as much food crops in a day as is sufficient to feed 2,500 people.”
Alarm - Exasperation - Mix - Curiosity - People
Alarm and exasperation mix with curiosity as people try to shoo the locusts away by shouting, waving pieces of clothing...
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