It is almost as if someone flipped some sort of a switch as 2020 began, because we have been seeing really weird things happen all over the globe so far this year. Later in this article I want to talk about the large earthquakes and strange weather events that we have seen over the past few days, but first I want to discuss the massive armies of locusts that are voraciously eating crops in Asia and in Africa. Right now, a “deadly invasion by millions and millions of locusts” in India is absolutely devastating farm after farm, and the media in India is calling this locust invasion “the worst in over six decades”…
Parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan are in the midst of a deadly invasion by millions and millions of locusts, leaving the farmers there in distress. The invasion which began in October is said to be the worst in over six decades.
According to reports, crops of some 3.6 lakh hectares in 10 districts as western Rajasthan have been damaged by the locusts so far. The Locust Warning Organization (LWO) said that the current wave of attack was by Pink locusts which are flying in from Pakistan.
As bad as things are in India, the truth is that they are even worse in Africa.
According to the UN, the desert locusts that have been ravaging fields in Ethiopia and Somalia are now pouring into Kenya…
The UN has warned of a “significant and extremely dangerous” escalation in the number of desert locusts descending on Kenya, as the government strives to contain the threat before it reaches the country’s food-producing regions.
The tropical grasshoppers have been wreaking havoc on Kenya’s neighbours to the north and east, devouring tens of thousands of hectares of crops in Ethiopia and Somalia since last June.
Here in the United States, we tend to think of a “swarm” as a few hundred insects.
But over in Africa, these “swarms” can literally take over an entire section of a country. For example, the FAO says that one of the locust swarms in Kenya “measured 2,400 sq km”…
Each square kilometre of locusts in a swarm can eat as much in a day as 35,000 people, according to the FAO. One locust swarm seen in Kenya measured 2,400 sq km.
“There is an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods” across the Horn of Africa, the FAO said.
I can’t even imagine what a 2,400 square kilometer locust army would look like, but I think that it is fair to say that it qualifies as a “plague of locusts”.
Meanwhile, earthquakes continue to pop up in unusual places.
For example, ABC News is reporting that a magnitude 4.5 quake hit Kansas on Sunday…
The U.S. Geological Survey said a magnitude 4.5 earthquake struck about 2 miles (3 kilometers) southwest of Hutchinson shortly after 1 p.m. The service had initially reported that it was a magnitude 4.4 earthquake, but later upgraded it.
And this earthquake comes just a few months after there was a very suspicious swarm of 17 earthquakes in that same area of central Kansas…
The earthquake struck as the Kansas Corporation Commission investigates the cause of a swarm of 17 earthquakes in five days in August the same area of central Kansas. The regulatory agency’s investigation is focused on the underground disposal of oilfield waste that’s been blamed for quakes elsewhere in southern Kansas.
On the other side of the globe, a very strong magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit Indonesia this weekend…
A strong inland earthquake has struck Indonesia’s easternmost Papua province, but there were no immediate reports of major damage or casualties.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude 6.0 quake was centered 141 kilometers west of Abepura, a city at a depth of 33.6 kilometers.
But these days large earthquakes are happening so frequently that they barely make a blip in the news. A similarly large earthquake just hit China, but hardly anyone in the U.S. even knows that it happened…
According to reports, A powerful magnitude 6.4 earthquake has struck in Jiashi County of northwest China’s autonomous Xinjiang. The earthquake was reported to have a depth of 165m and took place at 9:21 pm local time.
Witnesses say the shaking was felt in the cities of Kashgar and Artux. At this time there are no reports of fatalities or damage. This is the third earthquake that has struck in Southern Xinjiang, China in the past 47 hours.
That quake in China was later downgraded to a magnitude 6.0 event, but that is still very significant.
In some parts of the planet, the shaking simply does not stop. Over in the Philippines, there have been more than 400 earthquakes associated with the eruption of Taal volcano since last Sunday…
Since Sunday, a staggering 466 earthquakes have been recorded, and experts warn more eruptions may still come.
Of those quakes, 156 were recorded as being intensity one to four.
Phivolcs Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division chief Mariton Bornas said: “For volcanic earthquakes, that is strong.”
And as I have written about previously, more than 1,000 earthquakes have shaken Puerto Rico in recent weeks. Many residents continue to sleep outside because they are deathly afraid that their homes will collapse on top of them while they are sleeping if another big quake suddenly strikes.
On top of everything else, global weather patterns continue to go haywire.
In Alberta, the weather has actually been colder than it has been on Mars…
The highest temperature recorded on the red planet Wednesday morning was -17 C, according to NASA, which was still a few degrees above Alberta, where the warmest temperature recorded was –21.2 C, at Nakiska Ridge in Kananaskis Country.
In Calgary, it reached a low of –31.2 C early Wednesday, according to Environment Canada, while in Edmonton the mercury dipped to –34 C.
And along with Mars, Alberta was colder than a number of other well-known spots, like Siberia, which sat at –11 C Wednesday morning, and Nuuk, Greenland, where it was –12 C.
And in Newfoundland, a devastating blizzard packing wind speeds of up to 98 mph dumped an all-time record 30 inches of snow on St. John’s…
Premier Dwight Ball said he had asked for the federal government’s assistance, including mobilizing the armed forces, after the blizzard battered eastern Newfoundland.
Rob Carroll, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said St. John’s had experienced a one-day snowfall of 76.2 centimeters (30 inches), breaking the previous record of 68.4 centimeters (27 inches) on April 5, 1999.
On an almost daily basis, we are seeing natural disasters happen that are unlike anything we have ever seen before, and what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.
Despite all of our advanced technology, we remain exceedingly dependent on the natural environment that surrounds us, and that natural environment is becoming increasingly unstable.
We are truly entering uncharted territory, and most people cannot even imagine the great challenges that lie ahead for all of us.