Environment 2020

The story of how a small plague of locusts grew into billions in just over 12 months stretching from China sweeping all the way to Botswana in South Africa
On January the 11th, 2019, the holiest site in Islam was swarmed by a plague of locusts, forcing cleaners into action to drive the insects out. The Great Mosque in Mecca, which hosts millions of Muslim pilgrims every year and is the holiest site in Islam was the birthplace of a plague which in just over 12 months would grow into billions, stretching from the western border of China sweeping through Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, through Arabia the Middle East, northern Africa and all the way down to Southern Africa.

On Wednesday, 17 April 2019, after unprecedented floods killed more than 80 people and damaged or destroyed 100,000 homes, Iran is now bracing its self for swarms of locusts. 

Bahrain is the latest country to be invaded by the Locust Plagues: Swarms of locusts darken the skies in Bahrain as they move eastward toward China (Videos)
A huge swarm of locusts stopped traffic on a major highway in Bahrain yesterday, as the insects entered the country on high winds, ironically coming back home to the region where the original plague began back in January 2019.
Terrifying videos on YouTube show the insects landing on car windscreens as a large column flies overhead. The swarm is thought to have spread from Saudi Arabia, where they had been seen in regions including Riyadh, Mecca and Qassim because of strong winds. 

Back in January 2019, the Great Mosque in Mecca, which hosts millions of Muslim pilgrims every year and is the holiest site in Islam was hit by a plague of locusts which is thought to have been the origin of the massive plagues now stretching from South Africa to China's Western border. 

Like a thief in the night! Locust Plague Timeline: The Biblical plague started ironically at the holiest site in Islam in 2019: It now stretches from the Chinese border to South Africa: New swarms in China, Botswana and South Sudan
The worst locust outbreak in nearly a hundred years is spreading fast, the FAO yesterday announced South Sudan and Botswana, the first southern African nation has been invaded by migratory locusts and in a separate, unconfirmed report the locust plague has reached the Western borders of coronavirus-hit China, the area of the plagues are vast and the numbers of countries now affected enormous, see map above. A small plague was reported on TBW back in Jan 2019 ironically at the holiest site in Islam. The locusts were filmed swarming around the Great Mosque in Mecca, since then the plague has stretched from the Chinese border to South Africa. 
The worst locust outbreak that parts of East Africa have seen in 70 years has reached South Sudan, a country where roughly half the population already faces hunger after years of civil war, officials announced Tuesday. 

Locust Swarm Update: UN warns of 'major shock': Africa locust outbreak spreads: Swarms of billions of locusts destroying crops in Kenya, biggest outbreak in 70 years, as well as Somalia and Ethiopia, India and Pakistan
Uganda scrambled to respond to the arrival of the biggest locust outbreak that parts of East Africa have seen in decades, while the United Nations warned Monday that “we simply cannot afford another major shock” to an already vulnerable region. An emergency government meeting hours after the locusts were spotted inside Uganda on Sunday decided to deploy military forces to help with ground-based pesticide spraying, while two planes for aerial spraying will arrive as soon as possible, a statement said.

Aerial spraying is considered the only effective control. The swarms of billions of locusts have been destroying crops in Kenya, which hasn’t seen such an outbreak in 70 years, as well as Somalia and Ethiopia, which haven’t seen this in a quarter-century.

Australian Bushfires Create Risk of Drinking Water Contamination: Australians are facing another threat to their most precious commodity, toxic algae bloom from the bushfires.
Australia can’t seem to catch a break in 2020.  After the horrendous bushfire crisis, which killed more than a billion animals, record-breaking heat, crippling drought and this month record-rainfall bringing mass flooding, they are now facing another threat.

Drinking water in Australia is scarce enough in most parts of the country but now the Aussies are facing another threat to their most precious commodity, drinking water contamination from the bushfires. According to Weather.com, the fires torched 42,000 sq miles. Mudslides are washing ash and debris into waterways. Some of the ash and debris contains toxic chemicals from the 3,000 homes which were destroyed in the fires, these homes hosted pollutants and chemicals which have found their way into the water system. 

The potential for another animal to human type coronavirus is very worrying here especially if the bats are urinating on people: Australian town suffers a Biblical plague of bats who are urinating on people
Hundreds of thousands of bats have invaded the town of Ingham in Queensland, Australia, and residents are fed up. The bats now outnumber the residents in the town and upset locals have asked their council to do something about it. The animals have caused chaos, with residents complaining about the smell, the dirt and the noise. However, the bats are protected by law and cannot be culled. Local authorities now say they are trying to "persuade" the bats to move back to their habitat. Ramon Jayo says his community is fed up with it. "The stench is horrific when you are under the bats you have little spiders and mites and the bats are peeing on you." The bats now outnumber the residents by the hundreds of thousands.

African and Middle East Locust swarms update: A day after Pakistan declared a state of emergency Somalia has declared a national emergency: Agriculture Organization (FAO) "worst situation in 25 years"
Somalia has become the first country in the Horn of Africa to declare a locust infestation sweeping the region as a national emergency. The country's Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement on Sunday the desert locust surge "poses a major threat to Somalia's fragile food security situation"."Food sources for people and their livestock are at risk," it added. "The desert swarms are uncommonly large and consume huge amounts of crops and forage.
"The ministry said the emergency declaration was made to focus efforts and raise funds because it was critical to contain the locust swarms before harvests are due in April. Desert locusts - whose destructive infestations cause large-scale crop damage and hunger - are a species of grasshopper that live largely solitary lives until a combination of conditions promote breeding...

A state of emergency declared in Pakistan to tackle the biggest locust attack in decades. The unprecedented locust swarms now stretch from India all the way down to Kenya in East Africa
Blue broken line showing the incredible number of countries suffering from the locust plagues
A state of emergency was declared in Pakistan to tackle the biggest locust attack in decades. The insects are destroying crops in Punjab province. The Punjab province in Pakistan is the main region for agricultural production. Prime Minister Imran Khan approved a National Action Plan (NAP) that requires a sum of Rs 7.3 billion to overcome the crisis. Minister for National Food Security Khusro Bakhtiar informed the National Assembly about the gravity of the situation. Khan ordered the formation of a high-level committee to be headed by Bakhtiar to take decisions at the federal level for the elimination of insects. He has directed the authorities concerned to take immediate measures on the basis of damage of ripened crops.

Locust Plague Update" Devastation is unsurmountable." The unprecedented plagues of locusts sweeping across East Africa to grow 500 times bigger by June: One swarm contains billions of locusts
Oxfam is preparing for a potential response as swarms of locusts sweep across Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia and is likely to grow 500 times bigger by June to neighbouring Uganda and South Sudan.
The plagues are hitting the East African region where food insecurity has already reached record levels following unprecedented droughts and in some areas flash floods and millions more are at risk to go hungry unless these swarms are immediately controlled, warned Oxfam today. 

"Unprecedented!" Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are suffering biggest locust swarm in 70 years: India, Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen are also seeing substantial breeding activity
Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are dealing with desert locust swarms of “unprecedented size and destructive potential” that could spill over into more countries in East Africa, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned on Monday. Destroying hundreds of thousands of acres of crops, the outbreak is impacting the region’s food insecurity. The UN agency urged for a collective campaign to deal with the crisis, concerned over the risk that the swarms spill over into more countries in East Africa, “if efforts to deal with the voracious pest are not scaled up across the region”.

Just 1 swarm measured 60 kilometres (37 miles) long by 40 kilometres (25 miles) wide: The most serious outbreak of desert locusts in 25 years is spreading across East Africa
The most serious outbreak of desert locusts in 25 years is spreading across East Africa and posing an unprecedented threat to food security in some of the world's most vulnerable countries, authorities say. Unusual climate conditions are partly to blame. The locust swarms hang like shimmering dark clouds on the horizon in some places. Roughly the length of a finger, the insects fly together by the millions and are devouring crops and forcing people in some areas to bodily wade through them.
Near the Kenyan town of Isiolo on Thursday, one young camel herder swung a stick at them, with little effect. Others tried to shout them away. An "extremely dangerous increase" in locust swarm activity has been reported in Kenya, the East African regional body reported this week.

Environment 2019

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