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Last Updated: Wednesday November 17 2004 15:18 GMT

Pink locusts swarm across Africa

Pink locusts have even reached Cyprus
Africa has been hit by monster swarms of locusts, putting crops at risk.

The flying pink insects have munched their way through millions of acres of crops in Senegal and Mauritania, and now threaten Egypt and Morocco.

A cloud of the beasties, which grow over seven cm long, hit the Egyptian capital Cairo on Wednesday, sending people running for cover.

Experts think it's too cold for the locusts to stay there for long, and think they will move further south.

A swarm of locusts in the sky above Senegal
A swarm of locusts in the sky above Senegal

Authorities in Saudi Arabia and Sudan have been warned of the danger.

Locust swarms can hold billions of bugs, cover hundreds of square miles, and destroy fields in minutes.

They haven't caused as much damage as people feared, as they stayed out of the main crop-producing areas.

But this has been the worst year for locusts since 1989, and experts warn they could return next year.

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