Delhi: Millions of locusts have affected around 100 districts in five states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pr adesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtr a and can reach another 12 in the next few weeks, officials have warned. The desert locust is a species of swarming short-horned grasshopper and are known to devour everything in their path, posing an unprecedented threat to food supply and livelihoods of millions of people. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Desert Locust Information Service bulletin, locusts can fly up to 150 km a day and a one-square-kilometre swarm can eat as much food as 35,000 people in one day. Authorities in Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Telangana and Karnataka sounded alerts on Thursday to the possibility of locusts entering their territories even as the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation has warned that the crop-destroying insects could reach Bihar and Odisha in the east in the coming weeks.
The Delhi government has issued an advisory to officials across various districts to prepare for a potential locust attack after the Centre issued a warning that there was a high chance of the crop-munching insects moving from parts of Madhya Pradesh towards the capital.