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Jordan, Israel Prepare for Locust Swarms

Jordan's Ministry of Agriculture has announced an "utmost state of emergency" as locust swarms descended on Saudi Arabia via Yemen. Minister of Agriculture, Ibrahim Shehadeh said that an emergency room had been set up with the cooperation of several departments including the Royal Jordanian Air Force, the Royal Badia Forces and the Jordan Customs Department. Syria, which borders Israel along with Jordan is preparing for an outbreak as well. Israel is also preparing for the possibility of the first desert locust infestation in seven years. The infestation in 2013 caused hundreds of thousands of shekels in damage to Israel's agriculture industry. In a recent situation evaluation, Agriculture Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said that there is currently only a low chance that the locusts will come to Israel but stressed that the forecast could change, and preparations should be made in advance. Iran has also begun preparing for the swarms currently located south of the country. Agricultural experts in Iran have warned that the locusts could invade Iran's central regions as well. In Asia, Pakistan has declared a national emergency to combat the locust infestation. The swarms there have reached northwest India and are approaching China as well. (VFI News)