Locust surge warning for Yemen and north-east Africa

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Locusts can devastate crops and pastures. Photo: FAO/Giampiero Diana

Heavy rains and cyclones that have plagued Yemen and northeast Africa could lead to a surge in desert locusts in the coming months.

The warning came from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), on Wednesday which said that torrential downpours had the potential to trigger destructive swarms.

Daniel Dickinson has more.

Tropical cyclones Chapala and Megh, caused major destruction in Yemen and some parts of the Horn of Africa, leaving moist soil in their wake, ideal for locusts to lay their eggs.

If the wet conditions continue then the likelihood of locusts breeding and swarming will rise sharply, WHO said.

The unusually wet weather, due also in part to the El Niño system, makes it very hard to predict whether locusts are likely to be a problem, but countries need to be vigilant, according to WHO's Senior Locus Forecasting Officer.

A plague of locusts could have a devastating effect on crops and threaten food security in places like Yemen.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 43"

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