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Locust swarm plagues Israel just in time for Passover

JTA

March 5, 2013 | 4:11 pm

Locusts on a branch near Kmehin in Israel's Negev desert on March 5. Photo by Amir Cohen/Reuters

Locusts on a branch near Kmehin in Israel's Negev desert on March 5. Photo by Amir Cohen/Reuters

A swarm of 1 million locusts crossed into Israel from Egypt.

The locusts on Tuesday remained concentrated in areas of southern Israel near the border, but sightings were reported throughout the country, including Tel Aviv and the Carmel region of northern Israel.

Residents of the Ramat HaNegev Regional Council, where the first locusts were seen on Monday, have sealed their homes against the thousands of locusts in their area, according to reports.

Aerial and ground pesticides are expected to be sprayed late Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. No more swarms are expected to cross the border due to a shift in the wind direction.

A black cloud of more than 30 million locusts -- some estimates ranged as high as 120 million -- swarmed over parts of Egypt beginning on Saturday, causing millions of dollars worth of damage, according to Egyptian Agricultural Minister Salah Abad Almoman.

The locust attack comes some three weeks before the start of Passover, which recalls a destructive plague of locusts that the Bible says was sent by God to free the Jewish slaves.

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