A massive swarm made up of millions of large locusts has decimated fields in southern Russia, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency in the region.
Fields of corn and other crops have been annihilated, with at least 800,000 hectares of crops being affected by the attack of the swarm. This has so far been the worst plague that has hit Russia in the last 30 years, according to CNN.
The feeding frenzy of the locusts have already destroyed at least 10 percent of the total crops in the region, threatening the livelihood of local farmers.
Authorities have began initiating countermeasures against the swarm, treating the affected farmlands with insecticide. About 90,000 hectares of fields have been treated so far, though the high temperatures in the area have weakened the effect of the insecticides effectiveness, reports The Daily Mail.
Alexander Bublov, one of the airplane pilots who was spraying the fields with insecticide, described the onslaught of the locusts.
"We treat a field, but the locusts fly off to the next one," he said. "This is the first time I see this in my 30 years of work."
Officials have further stated that locust swarms are currently moving at an unprecedented pace, leaving a trail of destruction across southern Russia. The steady change in the climate, as well as a recent heatwave, are considered to be factors that may have triggered the attack of the locust swarms.
Tatiana Drishcheva, working for the Russia Agricultural Center, stated that the locust swarms are now moving on to other sources of food. She also described the disturbing size of the insects that are attacking the region.
"In Kalmikya, Astrakhan, Volgograd, and Dagestan, there is already no food left for the locusts, so they have moved on to other sources of food," she said. "They have wingspans of nearly 12 centimeters, like small sparrows."
Check out more of HNGN's coverage of locust plagues and their relationship to climate change here.