Locust swarm invades Karachi

August 27, 2011

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KARACHI: A huge locust swarm invaded the city yesterday shortly before 4pm. It came from the northwest and northeast directions. It was several miles long, and hovered over Karachi for at least two-and-a-half hours.

It was the biggest swarm that has invaded Karachi in recent years. It was spotted at about 3.50pm over Nazimabad and nearly 50 minutes later it was again seen, this time moving in the opposite direction. But after about an hour-and-a-half it was back over the city, and settled down on the greenery in various localities, including the PECHS, denuding many trees and plants in a matter of minutes.

Some of the locust that the children managed to catch were three inches long.

Warning of heavy breeding of locust had been issued by the Desert Locust Information Service sometime ago, which had said that breeding of locust in Pakistan and India had been going on for the last two months.

The locust had moved east from Saudi Arabia and other places in the Middle East, and had laid over extensive areas of Sind, Bahawalpur and Rajasthan. The hatching began towards the middle of the last month, and the legging about the middle of this month.

The Plant Protection Department plans to press into service six aircraft for spraying the locust with insecticide. An anti-locust squad of the department was yesterday detailed to track the movement of the swarm and spot the area where it has settled down for the night.