Mumbaikars were sent into a tizzy after social media posts claimed that locusts have arrived in Mumbai. The rumours of locusts invading Mumbai began after posts on WhatsApp and Twitter showed similar looking insects swarming and entering homes. However, Locust Warning Organisation (LWO) under the Union Agriculture Ministry clarified that the pests were not heading for Mumbai and are currently restricted to eastern Maharashtra.
"The invasion is restricted to parts of eastern Maharashtra with districts in Vidarbha affected in the state. The wind direction from Madhya Pradesh is favourable for their movement and food availability in these zones," LWO Deputy Director KL Gurjar LWO told Hindustan Times.
The locust infestation is presently centred in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Unverified social media posts had claimed that the pests could enter Mumbai from Gujarat on Thursday morning. Authorities refuted these claims as wind direction will not let the locust swarm move towards Mumbai from Gujarat. Presently, there is no warning of locusts arriving in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, including Mumbai.
Meanwhile, the locusts have moved towards Gondia district in Maharashtra after ravaging crops in the neighbouring Bhandara. Authorities in the district have been alerted about the movement of pests.
Meanwhile, fire tenders were used to spray pesticides on crops and trees in 1 km radius of Temani village of Bhandara which was affected by locusts. The insects are now moving towards east with the wind, towards Tiroda tehsil in neighbouring Gondia district.
Farmers in Palghar district of Maharashtra have also been asked to prepare for a possible locust attack on crops.