79 swarms of desert locusts invade Kingdom


DAMMAM — For the first time in 20 years, the Kingdom has been invaded by as many as 79 swarms of desert locusts from Africa and Yemen since January, Makkah daily reported on Tuesday quoting Mohammed Al-Shamrani, director of the center to combat migrating locusts and other insects.

He attributed rapid increase in the number of locusts to the heavy rains on the Sahel strip extending from Umluj in the north to inner regions.

"The rains have created an appropriate atmosphere for the breeding of locusts," he said.

Al-Shamrani said the locusts are being heavily combated in six areas including Madinah, Tabuk, Riyadh, Qasim, Hail and the Eastern Province.

He said breeding of locusts will continue for two more months and will end with the advent of hot weather during summer.

The director did not expect the locusts to go to other new places and said they did not affect agriculture.

In the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah, the combating of the locusts is going on day and night so as to enable visitors perform their rituals in peace.