Thousands of black crickets swarm Makkah’s grand mosque

MAKKAH: In an unusual and never-before-seen phenomenon, thousands of black crickets invades the sacred mosque of Makkah and a major parts of the city leaving residents perplexed.

“On Saturday night I was praying at the Holy Mosque and the insects were everywhere, the mosque was drawing them in, not only in the yards, but even around the Kabba,” Abdulwhab Soror, 64, told The National.

“I’ve been living in Makkah my whole life, I’ve never witnessed something like this before,” he added.

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Viewers circulated the images and the videos on social media since Monday night show thousands of the insects, belonging to the True Cricket family, clinging to pilgrim’s outfits and covering the walls and floors of mosque in Saudi Arabia.

The Emirate Of Makkah Province in a statement released on Twitter, announced that it appoints a 22 teams of almost 130 members to tackle the issue, “bearing in mind the safety and comfort of pilgrims.”

Even insect wildlife experts were baffled by the phenomenon.

“This is the first time for me to see this species in big numbers. I am not surprised that people are saying the same,” said Dr Jacky Judas, manager and scientific adviser of terrestrial biodiversity at the WWF and Emirates Nature adding that this was a first. “I have never seen this species in these big numbers.”

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