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Last Updated: Monday, 1 November, 2004, 15:51 GMT
Locust swarms descend on Cyprus
A Lebanese official shows off locusts which have arrived in the country in swarms and have also appeared in Cyprus
The locusts have already wrought damage in Lebanon
A swarm of locusts spread across Cyprus on Monday, leaving farmers hurrying to protect their crops.

Cypriots described the insects as "big, pink locusts". Rare in Cyprus, they are thought to have been carried on winds from north Africa.

The invaders were first spotted in the Akamas nature reserve in the west of Cyprus, but quickly spread east.

They are reported to have devoured potatoes and bananas, though the damage has yet to be assessed.

Farmers have been advised to spray their crops with pesticide and to seal their greenhouses.

'Thousands of them'

"It is pink with clear wings with black dots on it. I have never seen this in Cyprus before," said Andreas Kazantzis, a senior officer of the Agriculture Ministry in the western region of Paphos.

"There are thousands of them. I've only ever seen such scenes on the television," he told Reuters.

The locusts have already wrought damage in Lebanon.

A spell of unseasonably warm weather may have helped attract them to Cyprus, the ministry suggested.

After first appearing in the west, they were reported to be moved swiftly eastwards towards the southern coastal town of Limassol.

Locust crisis 'could get worse'
18 Oct 04  |  Africa
Taking arms against the swarms
07 Oct 04  |  Africa
In the eye of the swarm
31 Mar 04  |  Science/Nature
Country profile: Cyprus
20 Oct 04  |  Country profiles

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