Concurrently as swarms of locusts invaded neighboring countries, the Lebanese have quickly begun to mentally prepare for the devastating arrival of the short-horned grasshoppers.
However, as the Minister of Agriculture and several other Lebanese officials have assured, Lebanon will evade the invasion.
“After the coronavirus, prepare yourselves for the locust,” said numerous viral posts that took social media in Lebanon by storm and warned people of the “inevitable” threat that will further destabilize their country.
A mixture of panic and sarcasm is how the Lebanese have responded to the news allegedly sourcing from the international news organization Reuters. However, Reuters has denied any relation to it.
The Food and Agriculture Organization said that the dangerous swarms of desert locusts, which have raided Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, and parts of Iran, India, and Pakistan, came from Africa.
As Jordan began taking precautions in case the locusts decided to fly through its territory, some of the heat reached Lebanon. But thanks to Lebanon’s climate, we will be safe from the raids.
The Director-General of the Agricultural Scientific Research Department in Lebanon, Dr. Michel Afram, said that “the locusts have not and will not arrive in Lebanon, due to the cold weather that we are witnessing in the winter season.”
“As long as we have winter, the locust will not come,” he summarized to Annahar. Dr. Afram also affirmed that the gregarious insects have not yet reached Jordan or Palestine, as some rumors have claimed, and hence are not that close to Lebanon.
Similarly, Minister of Agriculture and Culture Abbas Mortada took to Twitter on Sunday afternoon to assure the public that “Lebanon is not a breeding ground for locusts due to the low temperatures, in addition to the northwest winds that prevent their arrival.”
Nevertheless, he assured that the ministry is ready for all possibilities and is “forming an emergency committee and taking the necessary measures to combat any possible locust outbreaks.”
During these sensitive times, it’s crucial not to participate in sharing unverified news on social media. Such news can cause unnecessary widespread panic, and that’s the last thing anyone needs right now.