Locusts are currently swarming on three continents as an outbreak of the vermin has now spread from Paraguay into Argentina. The National Service of Agri-Food Health and Quality (SENASA) said the swarm, estimated at 40 million creatures, was passing through the province of Chaco in northern Argentina on Tuesday. SENASA reported that the swarms are composed of the Schistocerca Cancellata species of locust in the subfamily Cyrtacanthacridinae which is different than the desert locust currently devastating Africa and southwest Asia. The South American species has an insatiable appetite for crops of wheat, corn, and oats. These are mostly grown as feed for cattle, a major agriproduct of Argentina. The voracious short-horned grasshoppers are devouring enough crops to feed 2,500 people every day.
High temperatures and wind are causing the swarm to move up to 100 kilometers a day.
Other countries in South America have been made aware of the outbreak and are preparing for the possibility the swarms will arrive at their borders.
Plaga de langostas llega a Argentina: comen como 350.000 personas
Los voraces insectos provienen de Paraguay y tienen en alerta a los agricultores de la provincia de Formosa.
Los productos amenazados por estos insectos son los cultivos de mandioca, maíz, caña de azúcar. pic.twitter.com/1KDB2VjGHo
— . #QuedateEnCasa (@jravanales) June 19, 2020
Meanwhile, Africa is facing a probable third wave of locust invasion in 6 months. A wave of locusts swept through East Africa last year, returning again in 2020 in swarms estimated to be 20 times larger. The second round of infestation is described as the worst in 70 years.
Swarms are often tens of square kilometers in size. A swarm of just one square kilometer eats the same amount of food in one day as 35,000 people. The swarms also can travel 93 miles a day making efforts to control an outbreak even more difficult. Officials warned that further rains in the region could lead to an even larger outbreak.
Yo lo anticipe, la plaga de langostas llego a corrientes, argentina. Muy pronto en bs as. pic.twitter.com/H0Mg9VKRMe
— Matias, así nomas. (@matii_ariel00) June 19, 2020
Coronavirus pandemic restrictions prevent many farmers from going out to their fields to battle the swarms. In addition, the pandemic has slowed the delivery of vital pesticides and equipment form other countries. Many field officers have been prevented from tracking and reporting on the infestation due to restrictions.
This wave very much resembles the Biblical plague in this respect, coming as part of a wave of catastrophes that left the land of Egypt bereft of any food.
Locusts invaded all the land of Egypt and settled within all the territory of Egypt in a thick mass; never before had there been so many, nor will there ever be so many again. They covered the face of the whole land, so that the land was darkened, and they ate all the plants in the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Not a green thing remained, neither tree nor plant of the field, through all the land of Egypt. Exodus 10:14-15
According to Jewish tradition, the ten-plagues will reappear before the Messiah. Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, explained this aspect of the Messianic process to Breaking Israel News, quoting the Prophet Micah.
Jewish sources predict that all of the plagues will reappear in the final Redemption but in even more powerful forms. It is written in Midrash Tanchuma, homiletic teachings collected around the fifth century, that “just as God struck the Egyptians with 10 plagues, so too He will strike the enemies of the Jewish people at the time of the Redemption.”
This concept was explained by Rabbi Bahya ben Asher, a 13th-century Spanish commentator, who wrote, “In Egypt, God used only part of His strength. When the final redemption comes, God will show much, much more of His power.”
Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb in Jerusalem, expects more plagues to appear around the globe.
“The plagues struck Egypt as a punishment for their treatment of the Nation of Israel as God’s Chosen People,” Rabbi Berger explained. “When the plagues reappear in the End-of-Days, they will come as a punishment upon any nation or even an individual anywhere in the world who oppressed Jews during this 2,000-year exile.”
“We know that Esau as Edom oppressed Israel. It used to be that we could identify Esav’s offspring but the nations have been dispersed and intermingled. But this justice must be done for the Final Redemption to take place.”
The rabbi cited the Prophet Joel:
I will gather all the nations And bring them down to the Valley of Yehoshafat. There I will contend with them Over My very own people, Yisrael, Which they scattered among the nations. For they divided My land among themselves Joel 4:2