Revelation 9 New International Version (NIV)
9 The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. 2 When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. 3 And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. 4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes. 6 During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.
7 The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. 8 Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. 10 They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. 11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer).
Huge swarms of locusts descend on Egypt and around the Red Sea, UN warns. Foreshadowing of the prophesied biblical five (5) month plague in Revelation 9:1-11. Video.
Locust population around the Red Sea has dramatically increased
Swarms have spread from Sudan and Eritrea to Egypt and Saudi Arabia
UN agriculture organisation warn of threat to crops and food security
By REUTERS. PUBLISHED: 07:19 EST, 22 February 2019 | UPDATED: 08:08 EST, 22 February 2019
Periods of rain along the Red Sea coastal plains in Eritrea and Sudan have allowed two generations of breeding since October, leading to a substantial increase in locust populations and the formation of highly mobile swarms.
The increase in locusts in the area could pose a possible threat to crops and food security, the organisation warned. At least one swarm had crossed to the northern coast of Saudi Arabia in mid-January, with further swarms a week later.
Rains from two cyclones in 2018 had triggered breeding of locusts in the Empty Quarter region of Saudi Arabia, near the Yemen-Oman border, and a few swarms from two generations of breeding had reached the United Arab Emirates and southern Iran.
There was a risk of further spread towards the India-Pakistan border, the FAO statement said.
‘The next three months will be critical to bring the locust situation under control before the summer breeding starts,’ FAO locust expert Keith Cressman said in the statement.
‘The further spread of the current outbreak depends on two major factors – effective control and monitoring measures in locust breeding areas of Sudan, Eritrea and Saudi Arabia and the surrounding countries, and rainfall intensity between March and May along both sides of the Red Sea and in the interior of the Arabian Peninsula.’
Control operations have treated nearly 200,000 acres since December including 30,000 ha in the past two weeks in Egypt, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia and Sudan, the FAO said.
Control measures are also underway in Iran after at least one swarm arrived on the southern coast at the end of January, it said.
Adult locust swarms can fly up to 150km (93miles) a day with the wind and adult insects can consume roughly their own weight in fresh food per day. A very small swarm eats as much in one day as about 35,000 people, posing a devastating threat to crops and food security.
In an emailed comment to Reuters, Cressman said the last major desert locust upsurge was in 2003-2005 when more than 12 million hectares were treated in west and northwest Africa, incurring a cost of about $750 million including food aid.
Since then there have been numerous outbreaks along the coastal plains on both sides of the Red Sea that were mostly controlled.
The FAO will hold a meeting in Jordan next week to discuss intensifying control measures with affected countries, the statement said.
The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that an infestation of desert locusts in Sudan and Eritrea is rapidly spreading along both sides of the Red Sea towards Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
According to an agency press release, heavy rains triggered two generations of breeding since October, leading to a substantial increase in the locust population.
“The next three months will be critical in bringing the locust situation under control before the summer breeding starts,” FAO’s Senior Locust Forecasting Officer Keith Cressman said.
Earlier this year, the insects evoked biblical times when they showed up at holy sites in Mecca, covering some areas in darkness and sparking a thunderstorm of hail and fire on social media.
“These locusts are normally present in low numbers in the desert and don’t cause a big problem. But following a large rainfall they can quickly multiply, eventually forming hopper bands or swarms of adults, composed of billions of individual locusts,” Cressman told The Media Line.
According to the FAO, locust swarms can extend outwards several hundred square miles, containing roughly 40-80 million adult locusts in each square mile.
What makes these insects so dangerous is their threat to food security, says Cressman.
“A desert locust adult can consume its own weight (roughly 2 grams) in food in a day. The added difficulty is they’re normally in the desert, so they’re eating the vegetation there.
“Once they get into rain-fed crops on the edge of the desert, grown by poor farmers, they’re eating an entire livelihood, and then they move into the country and affect national food supplies,” he emphasized.
Therefore, a swarm of about 40 million locusts eats the same amount of food in one day as about 35,000 average people. A swarm reaching the size of Paris would eat the same quantity of food in 24 hours as half the population of France, according to the FAO.
“When a locust swarm lands, it can cause crop losses of 80-100 percent,” Dr. Arianna Cease, Director of the Global Locust Initiative at Arizona State University, told The Media Line. “This is particularly devastating for subsistence farmers who depend on their crops to feed their families.”
The current situation has been designated an outbreak, the lowest level of the three classifications for locust invasions—the second being an upsurge and the most severe a plague.
“Once they are adults and can fly, locusts become much more difficult to track, manage, and stop from flying into agricultural areas and subsequently decreasing food security,” Dr. Cease added.
“When locust populations build up, they group together and can travel long distances (60-250 miles daily). This turns them into a continental-level challenge, meaning many countries need to work together to manage outbreaks.”
According to Cressman, each country has a national locust center, and the main strategy adopted to combat them is prevention—consisting of regular monitoring, early warning mechanism, and forecasting.
The FAO Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Central Region (CRC), composed of 16 member countries, is convening a meeting in Jordan over the next few days to review the current situation and coordinate efforts to protect crops from “the world’s most dangerous migratory pest.”
Reported by: The Jerusalem Post