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The Daily Star
MONDAY, 21 APR 2014
12:43 AM Beirut time
18 °C
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Lebanon ministry says locusts not cause for concern
A locust at Ramlet al-Bayda in the Lebanese capital is seen in this March 16, 2013, photo. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
A locust at Ramlet al-Bayda in the Lebanese capital is seen in this March 16, 2013, photo. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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BEIRUT: The Agriculture Ministry tried once more Sunday to allay concerns over the sudden appearance of populations of locusts in different parts of Lebanon over the weekend.

“The wave of locusts was light and Lebanon’s climate and environment don’t allow their numbers to increase, particularly given the cold weather now in Lebanon after the limited hot weather and winds over a period of four days,” said Louis Lahhoud, the Agriculture Ministry’s general director.

Farmers in north and south Lebanon woke up Saturday to swarms of locusts invading their gardens and crops. The locusts were spotted in northern areas including Koura, Tripoli, Zghorta and Akkar. In the south, swarms of the little creatures appeared in Tyre and near the Litani River.

Lahhoud said the brief heat wave in Lebanon had been the catalyst for the arrival of the locusts, which he said had originated in the African continent and crossed over into Lebanon from Israel.

He also reassured farmers that their crops were safe and that the Agriculture Ministry was following up on the situation of the locusts.

“There is no danger to crops and the Ministry has set up a central operations room to follow up on the issue and clear [affected] areas and deal with all cases found in [different] areas,” he said.

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