Locusts Swarm Egypt: See 30 Million Bugs Threaten Egyptian Harvest [PHOTOS] [VIDEOS]

By Staff Reporter on March 4, 2013 10:09 AM EST

Locusts in Egypt
About 30 million locusts invaded Egypt ahead of passover. Farmers fear a devastating loss of harvest. (Photo: YouTube / Helmy2013)

Devastating locusts swarm Egypt just ahead of Passover, prompting a national emergency.

Locust swarms are a seasonal problem for Egypt. Each year, the Agriculture Ministry's anti-locust department is tasked with getting rid of the destructive insects that are responsible for wiping out hundreds of square miles of crops.

According to the Jewish Press, Egyptian minister of agriculture Dr. Salah Abdel Momen revealed the sobering numbers of the 2013 infestation: As many as 30 million have made their way north from Suez to Cairo. If the locust infestation isn't handled promptly, then many Egyptian farmers could see their harvest gone in a blink of an eye.

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Ranging from concerned to angered, Egyptian farmers are accusing the government for not doing enough to prepare for the invasion.

Egyptian authorities have deployed crop dusting aircraft with biological pesticides as well as the military to address the locust threat.

"The armed forces and the Egyptian border units are trying to battle the swarm with various means at their disposal," said Agriculture Minister Momen.

"I ask the families living in the area afflicted with the swarm to not light car tires," Momen advised. "It doesn't drive the locusts away, it only causes damage, and it could start a fire that will take human life."

Finally, Momen also assured the farmers Egypt that the locust swarm in Egypt will cause no crop. According to an explanation from Egypt Independent:

"The locusts are merely storing fat on their bodies while they go on their spring migration outside of Egypt, the minister said, adding that they store the needed fat for over a week to remain light, thus making their journey easier."

That's easy the Ministry to say. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a one-ton locust swarm is capable of consuming "the same amount of food in one day as about 10 elephants or 25 camels or 2,500 people."

Beyond Egypt, neighboring countries including Israel are keeping a very close watch on developments of the locust infestation as well.

Israeli Agriculture Ministry Deputy Head of Plant Protection Services Moshe Weiss are currently monitoring the situation with the assistance of U.N. Officials.

"We are waiting and are hoping it doesn't arrive," said Weiss on Army Radio. "We are preparing crop-dusting planes and are preparing to put people in the field."

Be sure to see the incredible photos and video of the locust swarm below.

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