Thousands of Strange Insects Attack Mumbai, People Panic: Fact Check


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Thousands of Strange Insects Attack Mumbai People , Causing Panic..

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Insect rains in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra

(Hindi)

नवी मुंबई में कीड़ो का हमला, राहगीरों पर कीड़ा अटैक से दहशत में लोग

Fact Check:

Some videos and messages doing rounds on social media platforms and others warn people saying thousands of strange Insects Attack Mumbai People – causing panic. The incident in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra is also described as insect rains worrying the residents. Yes, the incident is a fact, but it was not any kind of harmful insect attack as such.

Details about the ‘Insects Attack on Mumbai People’

On 10th October 2019, residents of Seawoods area in Navi Mumbai spotted large number of insects falling everywhere in the society premises including roads. Some also complained they suffered itching, rashes and redness when the insects came in contact with their body. The large number of insects’ fall looked like heavy, black-colored rain. Traffic on one road leading to Seawoods station came to a standstill, causing panic among people. Several residents took videos of the strange incident, which also captured media attention.

After looking into the matter, Entomologists clarified the black colored caterpillars are in fact Moths Hyblaea Puera, better known as Teak defoliator and Mangrove Moth. Notably, the moths feed on teak and 45 plant species, including mangroves. More importantly, the Mangrove Moths are harmless and appear every year once monsoon season is over. They die after completing the cycle. Experts also said their life cycle has been extended this year because of the extended monsoon. The large numbers could be a consequence of climate change, they added. Entomologist Dr V Shubhalaxmi explained the strange incident how the caterpillars fell like rain:

They (caterpillars) generally travel from the trees to underground with the rain, but since it was dry and windy, the tethers and the larvae flew with the wind, landing on vehicles and other places.”

So, there wasn’t any attack of strange insects on Mumbai people. The fall of harmless Mangrove moths in large numbers is attributed to extended monsoon season, a consequence of climate change. After residents’ complaints, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation employees hosed down the trees and the entire area, including the roads.

Hoax or Fact:

Mixture of Hoax and Facts.

References:

Mangrove moths crawl into Navi Mumbai residential areas, create panic

Like black-coloured rain: Caterpillar shower brings Mumbai traffic to a standstill


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Prashanth Damarla
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