KARACHI: Swarms of locusts have attacked an aircraft of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) before it is preparing to land at Quetta airport.
The Quetta bound PIA flight PK-310 which flew from Karachi escaped an accident as swarms of locusts struck the aircraft near Balochistan capital’s airspace before landing Friday. However, the pilot managed to touch the land safely despite the attack of locusts affected windscreen and the front side of the aircraft. The plane was immediately inspected by engineers at the airport; fortunately, the plane’s engine was not affected in the incident but the front side of the aircraft’s body received some dents, sources said.
It is noteworthy to mention here that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) administration has not conducted anti-locust spray in and around the airport which significantly increases the number of locusts’ strikes at planes during take-off and landing in Quetta and Sukkur.
Sources said that the pilots of foreign airlines have also expressed their concerns over the situation. The incidents of locusts’ strikes are consistently rising due to delay in clearing the surrounding areas covered with farms and wild grass, sources added. On December 4, Swarms of locusts, after leaving its trail of devastation in parts of Sindh, had landed in Balochistan.
The swarms of crop-eating insects now reported to reach Quetta and before it in Mastung, Dasht and Kund Mesori, according to reports.
The swarms of locusts were reported at the Eastern Bypass of Quetta, Bhosa Mandi and Labour Colony areas. Earlier, swarms of locusts inflicted damage to crops and vegetation in several parts of Sindh including Shikarpur, Larkana and other districts causing panic in farmers and other citizens. The locusts witnessed at houses, trees and fruit farms in various parts of the city and the outskirts.
The residents fearing damage to their crops and fruit farms are taking efforts on self-help basis to get rid of the damaging swarms of the grasshopper.
They demanded the government to conduct spray to get rid of the locusts.