Environmental Disaster

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Swarms of locusts spread deeper into Uganda

Ugandan authorities say swarms of desert locusts that arrived in the country on Sunday have spread to at least two districts in the north east of the country.

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda chaired an emergency meeting of politicians and technocrats within hours of the first swarm of locusts being spotted.

The authorities there say they have a well laid out strategy to effectively destroy the pests.

The BBC’s Catherine Byaruhanga in the capital, Kampala, reports that majority of Ugandans will have no memory of a desert locust outbreak, the last major upsurge was in the early 1960s.

The government is relying on the army to be the backbone of its plan and intends to deploy 2,000 soldiers.

They will be trained to spray pesticides using manual and motorised equipment.

The most effective way to combat an upsurge of locusts is air spraying but Uganda does not have the aircraft and chemicals needed.

It is negotiating with Kenya to borrow some of its planes. But its neighbour only has a small number of these aircraft and has been struggling to bring its own locust outbreak under control.

Countries in the Horn of Africa have been fighting an upsurge of the pests, which are threatening food security.

Typhoon Hagibis: Japan deploys 110,000 rescuers after worst storm in decades

More than 110,000 people are taking part in search and rescue operations after Typhoon Hagibis struck Japan on Saturday.

The typhoon – the worst storm to hit the country in decades – has left at least 40 dead, with 16 missing.

Typhoon Hagibis also caused the cancellation of three Rugby World Cup matches but a key match between Japan and Scotland went ahead.

Japan won 28-21 to reach the quarter-finals for the first time.

The typhoon has weakened and moved away from land but has left a trail of destruction.

A train depot in Nagano was also flooded, causing 10 high-speed (“bullet”) trains to be submerged. Each train has been valued at $30m (£23m).

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