JERUSALEM (CBSDC/AP) — Israel is on high alert after tens of millions of locusts descend on neighboring Egypt.

The Associated Press reports that Israel’s Agriculture Ministry has set up an emergency hotline in hopes to prevent a locust outbreak.

Egyptian officials say 30 million locusts have swarmed onto farm fields near Cairo.

“Egyptian armed forces and border guards are attempting to fight the swarm with all means at their disposal,” Dr. Salah Abd Al Mamon, Egyptian agriculture minister, said, according to Israel National News.

Mamon warns not to burn tires in hopes to drive away the locusts.

“This does not chase away the locusts, but only causes damage and could ignite large-scale fires that would cost in lives,” Mamon added.

Ynet News reports that Egypt suffered a similar swarm in 2004 that devastated the country’s crops.

The swarm comes ahead of the Passover festival that recounts the biblical exit of Jews from Egypt. In the Bible, God imposed a locust plague over Egypt for enslaving the Jews.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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