Twitter of late has been invaded with pictures that, while unverified in their origin, provide a visceral illustration of what Egyptians are living through: an estimated 30 million locusts descended on Cairo.
Twitter user Albandri Shammri (@Estfzone1) said earlier on Tuesday:
— ۩.البندري الشمري.۩ (@Estfzone1) March 5, 2013
Another user, Yara El-Gendy, posted this on Saturday:
— Yara EL-Gendy (@YaraElGendy) March 2, 2013
As of Tuesday Egyptian authorities claimed they had eradicated 95 percent of the hordes, Egypt Independent reported.
Locusts swarms are not uncommon in Egypt, but this year’s crop is particularly large. Egypt Independent said previous locust swarms had infested Egypt in 1968, 2004, 2007, and 2011, but somehow no major agricultural losses were reported. Even this year, the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture is staunchly denying any crop damage, and is also denying a report from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization that the Ministry spread pesticides over 11,000 hectares (27,200 acres) of land last month in anticipation of the infestation.
According to the UN, a one-ton locust cloud can consume as much food in one day as 2,500 humans can.
While jokes spreadabout the Ten Plagues of the Jewish holiday Passover returning to torment Egypt, Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture has actually put the country on high alert and set up an emergency hotline on Monday, AP reported, in case the locusts should decide to head west. Some residents in the southern city of Eilat reported locust sightings, Israel Hayom said. Despite Egypt’s seeming good fortune at keeping the critters away from the crops, Israel is worried that the locusts could cause up to $27 million in damage.
That said, as of this writing, no Angels of Death have been sighted, and at last testing the substance in the Nile was still water.
— هاشتاق السعودية (@HashKSA) March 4, 2013
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) March 4, 2013
— چُولِيتّ زٰمْانِي (@Asar_sasa) March 2, 2013
Not very clear,but locusts on suez road. twitter.com/amiramikhail/s…
— mia (@amiramikhail) March 3, 2013
— American Copt (@AnAmericanCopt) March 2, 2013
— Alessandro Feroci (@a_feroci) March 2, 2013
Swarms of Locusts are moving through Egypt. twitter.com/keblack02/stat…
— Conservative Strong (@keblack02) March 4, 2013
This picture from the 2004 infestation.
And just as a special pre-Passover treat, here’s The Plagues song from Disney’s 1998 The Prince Of Egypt, which is unequivocally the best Passover movie of all time.
Maya covers the U.N., Europe, and the Middle East for IBTimes. She joined the company in July 2012 after having previously worked with DNAinfo.com and Gawker.