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Farmers battle swarms of locusts in Lebanon

Army helicopters are spraying agricultural land in northeast Lebanon to help farmers fight swarms of locusts that flew to the nation in what a United Nations agency said was a "really uncommon" event caused by a change in the wind direction. The agriculture ministry, which is on full caution, said on Monday large numbers of the locusts had been crushed.

There have been no enormous farming losses so far but there are concerns that more swarms could be blown to the south of Lebanon. The locusts, which threaten crops, are the most recent addition to a long list of challenges faced by Lebanon, which is battling its worst financial emergency in decades.

Lebanese Army helicopter fights a swarm of desert locusts in Lebanon's northeastern town of Arsal on the border with Syria, on April 23. The Baalbek-Hermel region within the northeast has mostly livestock cultivating with many cherry plantations affected by the locusts so far while Lebanon's south has more agrarian land.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the event was bizarre for the area but that a change in wind direction had blown the locusts from Saudi Arabia to Jordan and onwards to Syria and Lebanon.

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