Home Faith Worshippers covered in insects as locusts descend on Mecca’s Grand Mosque

Worshippers covered in insects as locusts descend on Mecca’s Grand Mosque

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One of the holiest sites in Islam has been hit by a plague of locusts, forcing cleaners into action to drive the insects out.

Footage shared on social media showed the insects swarming around the Great Mosque in Mecca, which hosts millions of Muslim pilgrims every year.

In one of the videos the insects can be seen clearly when the night sky is illuminated by the lights of the mosque.

A closer-up view shows them swarming in all directions, over the heads of the cleaners in green uniforms attempting to deal with them.

Another shot shows the insects covering the walls of the mosque as they swarmed across the site.

Mecca authorities shared pictures on Twitter of the cleaners, wearing face masks, spraying insecticide as they tried to decontaminate the site.

Officials said the insects had been identified as ‘black grasshoppers’, according to CNN‘s Arabic website.

The statement noted the videos shared on social media, saying they were dealing with the migratory insects.

‘Specialised teams have been directed to work in the fight to eliminate these insects,’ the statement said.

There were 138 people working in 22 teams with 111 pieces of equipment to eradicate the insects, according to the statement.

The focus was on the breeding sites near open water drains at the holy pilgrimage site, officials said.

According to Al-Araby, they said: ‘We have harnessed all efforts available to speed up the eradication of the insects in the interest of the safety and comfort of guests to God’s house.’