Authorities warn another locust swarm may enter Nepal

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Published On:  my Republica  

KATHMANDU, July 12: The Plant Quarantine and Pesticide Management Centre (PQPMC) has warned the stakeholders of the entry of another locust swarm into Nepal from India.

The centre citing Locust Analytics by PlantVillage at Penn State in collaboration with UN FAO and partners Swarm Trajectory Prediction on Saturday said there are two locust swarms spread in 150 hectares of area in Auraiya that lies between Kanpur of Uttar Pradesh and Etawah. With the gust of wind, it has been projected that the swarm might enter Nepal through Varanasi to Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga to Dhanusha, Mahottari, Sarlahi districts of Nepal.

Similarly, a huge number of swarms that are currently in different places of Rajasthan can head toward Uttar Pradesh through New Delhi as the direction of wind changes to the South-west.

Though the locust swarms don’t travel during night time and when it is raining, the swarms from India are expected to enter Nepal within a few days. “There is a possibility of swarms entering Nepal through Dhanusha, Mahottari and Sarlahi and areas around it within one to two days,” reads the locust advisory issued by PQPMC, “In two to three days, the swarms might enter Far-west Nepal through South, West and Province 5 territory.”  

The centre has directed all stakeholders including provincial ministries of agriculture and local units to adopt all precautionary measures and make necessary preparations to combat the attack.

A swarm of locusts had entered Nepal on June 27. The locusts had been ravaging crops around the fields of India. Locusts are known for devouring a huge amount of crops within a short span of time. The swarms of locusts that had entered Nepal had damaged crops in districts like Makwanpur, Dang, Pyuthan, Arghakhanchi and Palpa.

Though eight million locusts had entered Nepal and were spotted in many districts of Nepal, the centre reported that their mobility was affected due to rainfall across the nation. According to the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, the country will witness thundering, light and moderate rainfall across the country. The department has predicted that the country will continue to receive rainfall for a few days to come.