An Ethiopian Airlines plane was forced to divert to Addis Ababa Airport on Thursday after millions of locusts slammed into the plane’s engines, windshield and nose.
According to reports, the plane, from Djibouti to Dire Dawa, was preparing to land when collided with a swarm of locusts. The pilots tried to clean the windscreen with wipers but in vain, and hence decided to land in Addis Ababa instead.
Pictures of the plane’s nose smeared with dead locusts was posted on Facebook by Aeronews Global. According to Standard Media reports, the aircraft initially flew through a small number of locusts before encountering a larger swarm, reducing visibility from the cockpit window.
While, UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) states that East Africa has been plagued with desert locusts for that last two weeks with swarms that can be up to one-kilometre-wide consisting of about 80 million locusts.
The affected countries include Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Somalia, and are thought to have spread from Yemen in August, wreaking havoc on local crops.