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#201755 - 09/27/06 08:19 PM Locust plague encircles Mexico's Cancun resort
Marty Offline
Locust plague encircles Mexico's Cancun resort
Reuters AlertNet - London,England,UK
... "It is a war, effectively," said German Parra, a senior agriculture official in the Gulf state of Quintana Roo, home of tourist resorts Cancun and Playa del ...

By Gunther Hamm

MEXICO CITY, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Clouds of locusts have descended around the Mexican beach resort of Cancun, destroying corn crops and worrying officials in a region still recovering from the devastating fury of last year's Hurricane Wilma.

Traveling in dark fogs, locusts are grasshoppers that have entered a swarming phase, capable of covering large distances and rapidly stripping fields of vegetation.

"Imagine, they fly in the form of a flock. Imagine the width of a street," government official Martin Rodriguez said on Tuesday, describing the fields around Cancun on the Yucatan Peninsula.

Towns have formed pesticide-armed brigades and are winning the war against the 3-week-old plague that has left tourist areas unharmed, authorities said.

Squads wait until night when the flying insects are roosting on plants to blast them. They carry motorized backpack pumps to shoot chemicals in a crusade that has affected from 2,000 to 2,500 acres (800 to 1,000 hectares) of farm land.

"It is a war, effectively," said German Parra, a senior agriculture official in the Gulf state of Quintana Roo, home of tourist resorts Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

Hot weather and an absence of mobility-limiting hurricanes have allowed the insects to breed more than normal but authorities hope to end the infestation in the next eight days.

The insects have focused on agricultural areas, sparing beachgoers another disaster after last year's Hurricane Wilma, which ravaged Cancun and other Caribbean coast resorts and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and lost revenue.

Destruction to corn crops has been lessened because the locusts came after most of the harvesting was finished, officials said.

Locusts, which typically come to the region in four-year cycles, are most famous as one of the 10 biblical plagues of Egypt. "We hope that God will take pity on us and help us," said Parra with a laugh.

#201756 - 09/27/06 08:21 PM Re: Locust plague encircles Mexico's Cancun resort
Marty Offline
from a friend
Very interesting!!

In Bishop Landa's book he reports the stories from an old Mayan priest in
regards to what great catastrophes had decimated the Maya civilization in
the past.

The old priest mentioned a terrible hurricane that killed 2/3 of the people --

A 100 years drought that starved 80% plus of the Maya and left the balance
stone age.

Except for one know spot -- Caracol -- in Belize mountain pine ridge --
which was a community established at that time to survive in civilized
spender a 100 year drought. (Due to heavy morning mists that never failed)

And a plague of locusts that did almost the same -- but much faster!!

Those events did not all happen at once -- but over a period of about 500

I remember we discussing that never has a locust plague ever been know to
affect this area!!

Now -- wow!!

#201757 - 09/27/06 08:21 PM Re: Locust plague encircles Mexico's Cancun resort
Marty Offline
another response

The article seems to allude that the locust infestation is due to the lack
of stormy conditions. It hardly seems plausible, though, as the Cancun area
was recently decimated by Hurricane Wilma. That was the only "big" storm in
years and yet there were no locust infestations pre-Wilma.

On Caye Caulker we used to have mosquito infestations during August and
September but all of that stopped cold after Hurricane Iris hit the island
several years ago. I can remember being eaten alive by mosquitoes pre-Iris.
These days the mosquito problem is insignificant at worst. Don't know what
the specific reason for that is but I am just grateful.

#201758 - 09/27/06 08:22 PM Re: Locust plague encircles Mexico's Cancun resort
Marty Offline
another response
I have a very, very vague memory of a locust infestation in the south of Belize when I was a little girl. That's some 48-50 years ago. We use to live on the Placencia pensinsula, and i remember the air of anxiety/excitement as the grownups around me talked about it. At that time, my father had coconuts and other fruit trees on the area now known as Maya beach. Many mango trees, guava, cashew. My mom also had a vegetable garden.

I will ask her about it when I see her later today. She is 85 now.

#201759 - 09/27/06 09:21 PM Re: Locust plague encircles Mexico's Cancun resort
divingcowgirl Offline
Darn, guess I can't wear my new corn-string bikini! laugh eek
Take the road less traveled

#201760 - 09/28/06 04:35 PM Re: Locust plague encircles Mexico's Cancun resort
Sir Isaac Newton Offline
Cancun was hit before, recently (Gilbert) and Mosq's were horrible just earlier this year, like April.
Check out my site: www.ambergriscayerealestate.net

#201761 - 09/28/06 09:19 PM Re: Locust plague encircles Mexico's Cancun resort
Marty Offline


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