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Israel goes on locust alert

March 5, 2013 at 5:29 AM

JERUSALEM, March 5 (UPI) -- Israel went on locust alert after swarms of the insects were reported in Egypt and some were spotted in Israel, the Agricultural Ministry said.

The ministry issued the alert Monday after the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization reported swarms of locusts in Cairo, The Jerusalem Post said.

"All the relevant parties in the areas that are expected to receive locusts in Israel have received updates and we are in a state of 'locust alert,'" said Miriam Freund, director of the Plant Protection and Inspection Services.

Climatic conditions and winds may push the locusts toward Israel, the ministry said noting with spring on the way, the situation poses a risk of a locust population explosion.

"For Israel, aerial and ground pesticides are being arranged and are ready to activate if and when we need them," Freund said.

"Plant Protection and Inspection Services of the Agriculture Ministry is constantly in touch with the FAO, whose role involves ongoing monitoring and reporting of the movement of locusts in northern Africa and eastward, through India."

Egypt's Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation said 95 percent of the locusts that reached Cairo Saturday were eradicated, Egypt Independent said.

Locusts were spotted Monday in Nasr City, Cairo Stadium and Cairo International Airport, the English-language website said. Swarms of locusts attacked agricultural land in the Suez governorate Sunday, Ahram Online said.

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