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A Visitation of Plagues on Iran

At least two people have died and more than 22 others were injured in an earthquake in northern Iran on Friday 8 May 2020: According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the epicenter of the earthquake was at Damavand, just northeast of the capital, at the depth of 6.2 miles. One resident in the Iranian capital told reporters that the shaking of the ground felt "very strong". Boulders were also seen blocking the roadway leading to the mountainous Damavand area. Many people in Tehran have left their homes out of fear of possible aftershocks. Officials urged people who spent the night outdoors to observe social distancing to limit the spread of the coronavirus that has killed nearly 6,500 and infected more than 103,000 in Iran. They assured the public there was no shortage of petrol as people rushed to gas stations to fill up after the quake.

Also, Iran for the second time this year is expecting widespread swarms of locusts. It will be the worst outbreak of the destructive insects in 50 years. Keith Cressman, senior locust forecaster for the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization explained, "The issue this year is that swarms from outside invaded the southwest of the country, while seasonal rains came early" and hatched the local population. Now, new swarms are in Iran for a second visit.  Desert locusts are yellow flying insects that grow to 10 centimeters and are considered the most destructive migratory pest in the world. A swarm covering one square kilometer contains up to 80 million locusts and can eat as much food in one day as 35,000 people. And they move fast – up to 150 kilometers a day. Female locusts lay up to 80 eggs and live three to five months in three stages: egg, hopper, and adult. Originating from the desert known as the Empty Quarter, which spans parts of Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen, large locust swarms spread uncontrollably last year to both East Africa and Iran. In late February 2020, Iran was once again infested when seasonal rains arrived early and provided a fertile breeding ground. This year, the insects have invaded at least seven southern provinces. (VFI News)