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Lebanon battles swarms of locusts after wind modifications path

The agriculture ministry, which is on full alert, stated on Monday giant numbers of the locusts had been destroyed.

There have been no large farming losses up to now however there are considerations that extra swarms might be blown to the south of Lebanon, caretaker agriculture minister Abbas Mortada advised Reuters.

“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,” Mortada stated.

The locusts, which threaten crops, are the most recent addition to an extended listing of challenges confronted by Lebanon, which is battling its worst monetary disaster in many years.

Lebanese Army helicopter fight a swarm of desert locusts in Lebanon's northeastern town of Arsal on the border with Syria, on April 23.

The Baalbek-Hermel area within the northeast has largely livestock farming with just a few cherry plantations affected by the locusts up to now whereas Lebanon’s south has extra agricultural land.

“We are ready for anything that may occur,” Mortada stated.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated the prevalence was uncommon for the world however {that a} change in wind path had blown the locusts in from Saudi Arabia to Jordan and onwards to Syria and Lebanon.

“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 consultant in Lebanon, stated.

“But so far it is under control and I certainly see nothing to panic about,” he stated.

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