Locust Swarm Like The Plagues Of Egypt Descends Upon Madagascars Capital

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Locust Swarm Like The Plagues Of Egypt Descends Upon Madagascars Capital
by Mustafa Hameed
YouTube/Sylvain Lathuy

A swarm of millions of locusts descended upon Madagascars capital of Antananarivo on Aug. 28, slowing traffic and blotting out the skies over the city.

Fully-formed clouds of the insects, which have plagued the African nation for more than two years, whizzed through the city's streets after an urban heat wave attracted the bugs away from their usual rural surroundings.

It reminds us of the 10 plagues of Egypt, said Ronald Miller, a missionary working in Madagascar with his family.

The current plague began in April 2012, leading to a national disaster declaration in Madagascar in November of that year, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The island nations government announced a three-year emergency plan in September 2013, when the locusts threatened food security of more than 13 million people, almost 60 percent of Madagascars population.

But while the images are alarming, FAO officer Annie Monard told Voice of America that the locust swarms in the city were caused by unusually high temperatures, not a new surge in the pest population. So far, the FAO and Madagascars government have succeeded in controlling the pests in over 4,600 square miles of agricultural land. Madagascars emergency plan will continue until 2016 and is expected to cost more than $41 million.

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