Pakistan has declared a national emergency over a locust invasion after insects destroyed crops on farmlands. Millions of insects wreaked havoc in Punjab province, the country’s main agricultural region, and in cities across the Pakistani-Indian border. Authorities called the invasion the worst locust attack in decades.
"We are facing the worst locust infestation in more than two decades and have decided to declare a national emergency to deal with the threat", said Firdous Ashiq Awan, Pakistan's Information Minister.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for a government meeting and approved an action plan to tackle the disaster. He directed ministers to immediately to take measures on the basis of damage of crops. The country’s Food Security Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bukhtiar said authorities managed to save cotton and winter crops to a large extent and said that the insects are now in the Cholistan Desert close to the border with India.
He noted that climate change is one of the reasons that locusts stayed in Pakistan longer than usual. Bakhtiar said the insects used to move to Iran after sometime, but due to low temperatures they are still in Pakistan.
The Asian country is not the only one that suffers from locust invasion. The insects swarmed Saudi Arabia with reports saying the insects turned days into nights.