In a multitude of videos posted on social media, swarms of locusts can be seen in the sky over the city of Karachi in Pakistan.
Native to desert areas, when locusts swarm they can destroy crops, and are considered a major global pest. They swarm in large black spirals and descend upon agricultural fields. By the time they are airborne again, “every crop, tree and blade of grass in their path” has been destroyed.
The Department of Plant Protection of Pakistan’s ministry of National Food Security and Research has said that the desert locust activity observed in Malir and adjoining areas of Karachi is part of the creature’s migration from summer-monsoon breeding zone towards areas of Balochistan, as reported by The Dawn. Department officials have also stated that the insects do not pose any risk to food supplies.
They can, however, cause great inconvenience. Earlier on Monday, the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy cricket match was interrupted at National Stadium Karachi.
The Sindh Government has issued instructions for preventive measures in the city. However, according to reports, provincial authorities have said that if the Plant Protection Department had taken adequate measures, the swarm would have not increased.
While social media users appear to be amazed (and some disgusted) by the locusts, Sindh’s Minister of Agriculture, Ismail Rahoo has suggested a unique solution: to cook the locusts (“tiddiyon”) in biryani.