Claims: A lot of images and videos are making rounds on social media including Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook claiming locust swarms have now entered Mumbai. These posts mostly mentioned Colaba, Goregon, Juhu and Vikhroli.
One similar video has been shared on social media platforms multiple times with different locations from Mumbai.
However, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) dismissed these claims of the locust swarm entering Mumbai city. Locusts have been reported in Nagpur, Amravati, and Wardha in Maharashtra but not Mumbai as of yet.
The post has been archived here.
Twitter saw a lot of tweets mentioning locusts in Mumbai including tweets from some verified accounts of celebrities.
Same video was being circulated as Pali Hill’s video too.
— Akshay Shah (@shaakshay) May 28, 2020
— ABL (@anshullahoty) May 27, 2020
Some people were quick to reply with tweets that these aren’t locusts but bees.
Shobhaa De also took up to Twitter to share reports about locusts in Mumbai which was later deleted.
Many users started forwarding images and videos with false claims on WhatsApp too. These messages warned people to shut their windows to prevent the locusts from entering their houses.
Few pictures with false claims were also shared on Instagram.
Report from Mumbai Mirror mentions that Rajan Naringrekar, insecticide officer of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) confirmed that locusts have not entered Mumbai and fake videos are making rounds on social media. He says, “All these are rumours. There is absolutely no swarm of locusts anywhere in Mumbai. In fact, I would say police should take action against those who are spreading fake news and creating panic in Mumbai.” He also mentioned that that on cross-checking the locations mentioned in the viral posts, no locust swarms were found.
According to news reports from Lokmat, Maharashtra state disaster management officials said no locust swarm was spotted in Mumbai and the viral images and videos have been wrongly attributed as being from Mumbai.
Another news report from The Hindustan Times stated KL Gurjar, deputy director, The Locust Warning Organisation (LWO) who said, “The invasion is restricted to parts of eastern Maharashtra, with districts in Vidarbha affected. The wind direction from Madhya Pradesh is favourable for their movement within this area and food availability in these zones. No such warning has been given for the Konkan region, including Mumbai, as the wind direction will not allow their movement to the coastal city from Gujarat.”
Hence, the viral posts and forwarded are fake. Locusts haven’t entered in Mumbai yet. Although found in different parts of Maharashtra.