Officials in the Northern Chinese province of Inner Mongolia have mobilized 33,000 people to stop a swarm of locusts 267 miles outside of Beijing. Concerned that the locust swarm may descend on Beijing during the Olympic Games, the regional government has set aside 4 million yuan for pesticides and large-scale spraying machinery. As of July 2, the swarm had infested 5,000 square miles.

“The larvae are in the hatching stage in the counties and cities near Beijing, Gao Wenyuan, of the Inner Mongolia’s grassland office, told the Xinhua news agency, as reported by Bloomberg. “The plague is becoming more apparent.”

Yesterday Xinhua reported (Google English translation) that the regional government has 200 tons of pesticides in reserve, four aircraft, 50 new large-scale aerosol sprayers, and thousands of small-scale sprayers to combat the locusts.

“We are aware and we’re coordinating with the relevant authorities to look into the issue,” said Sun Weide, a Beijing Games organizing committee spokesman, in the Bloomberg article.

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Abnormal weather has played a silent role in the biblical tide of catastrophes to plague China in the run-up to the Olympics. Warmer than average weather in Southern China, combined with stormy seas and “nutrient-rich” waters gave rise to the algae bloom in the bay of Qingdao.