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A swarm of yellow-spined bamboo locusts have decimated large areas of land in the southern city of Pu’er. The invasion of crop-eating pests embarked on its path of destruction for more than 200 miles from China’s border with Laos.
Local officials confirmed up to 26 square miles of fields have already been destroyed.
The Pu’er forestry authority fears the worst is yet to come with numbers rising each day and have warned there is a “high possibility of a disaster” in the country up until September.
In a notice on Thursday, the Pu’er Government said: “The invasion of the yellow-spined bamboo locusts from abroad is accelerating.
“We can detect new clusters invading every day.
“Based on initial research and judgement, there is a high possibility of a disaster of yellow-spined bamboo locust escalating in border regions between July to September.”
Shocking images show the large swarm moving over the skies in their hundreds of thousands before devouring on fields of vital bamboo leaves.
Authorities say the pests were first detected on in the region between Pu’er and Laos on June 28.
It is estimated more than 6,500 hectares of land has been destroyed by the species of short-horned grasshoppers.
China is responsible for around a fifth of the world’s bamboo and it is extensively used in the country to create houses, roads and medicinal purposes.
Locusts are easily identifiable by its bright red wings and can travel more than 70 miles in a single day.
The United Nations (UN) estimates a swarm of locusts can contain anything between 40-80 million insects.
A swarm in those numbers is capable of digesting the same amount of food in a day as three million people
In order to combat the outbreak officials have conducted more than 500 target drone flights.
Aerial pest-controllers have since covered an area of more than 3,000 hectares of land.
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Over the past two months, locust invasions have struck large parts of southern Asia, including neighbouring India.
Last month a swarm of locusts descended on the northern city of Gurgaon before travelling two kilometres towards the capital.
The outbreak struck during the vital summer harvest with crops decimated across Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
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