Bolivia has declared a state of emergency after a plague of locusts destroyed around 1,100 hectares of agricultural land in the country. President Evo Morales made the decision on Wednesday (8 February) and said that $700,000 will be made available for fumigation to prevent the insects from decimating crops.
The swarm first appeared around 100km away from the eastern city of Santa Cruz, but was moving swiftly towards Bolivia's largest city, where most of the country's food is produced. Vast fields of corn and sorghum have been destroyed en route, reports said.
Morales is set to visit Santa Cruz on Friday (10 February). Bolivia's agriculture secretary Mauricion Ordonez said, "We will create a 500-metre-wide ring around the area affected and fumigate inside, working alongside the local authorities."
The swarm is currently about 30kms from Santa Cruz. Unless contained immediately, authorities fear that nearly 80% of the food supplies and agricultural produce would be destroyed.