The government-run command post in Tunis is staffed around the clock by
military personnel, meteorologists and civilians. On the wall are maps,
crisscrossed with brightly colors arrows that painstakingly track the fearsome
path of the enemy.
What kind of invader gives rise to such high-level monitoring? Not man, not
beast, but the lowly desert locust.（蝗虫） In recent months, billions of the
3-inch-long winged warriors have descended on Algeria, Libya, Morocco and
Tunisia, blackening the sky and eating up crops and vegetation. The insect
invasion, the worst in 30 years, is already creating great destruction in the
Middle East and is now treating southern Europe. The current crisis began in
late 1985 near the Red Sea. Unusually rainy weather moistened the sands of the
Sudan, making them ideal breeding grounds for the locust, which lays its eggs in
the earth. The insect onslaught threatens to create yet another African famine.
Each locust can eat its weight (not quite a tenth of an ounce) in vegetation
every 24 hours. A good-size swarm of 50 billion insects eats up 100,000 tons of
grass, trees and crops in a single night.
All ﹩150 million may be needed this year. The U. S. has provided two
spraying planes and about 50,000 gal. of pesticide. The European Community has
donated ﹩3.8 million in aid and the Soviet Union, Canada, Japan and China have
provided chemical-spraying aircraft to help wipe out the pests. But relief
efforts are hampered by the relative mildness of approved pesticides, which
quickly lose their deadly punch and require frequent replications. The most
effective locust killer dieldrin has been linked to cancer and is banned by many
Western countries and some of the affected African nations. More then 5 million
acres have been dusted with locust-killing chemicals; another 5 million will be
treated by the end of June.
On May 30, representatives of Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Morocco and
Mauritania will meet in Algiers to discuss tactics to wipe out the ravenous
swarms. The move is an important step, but whatever plan is devised, the locust
plague promised to get worse before the insects can be brought under control.
1. The main idea of the first sentence in the passage is that ___.
A. the command post is stationed with people all the time.
B. the command post is crowed with people all the time.
C. there are clocks around the command post.
D. the clock in the command post is taken care of by the staff.
2. The favorable breeding ground for the locust is ___.
A. rich soil.
B. wet land
C. paces covered crops and vegetation
D. the Red Sea
3. People are alert at the threat of the locust because ___.
A. the insects are likely to create another African famine.
B. the insects may blacked the sky.
C. the number of the insects increases drastically.
D. the insects are gathering and moving in great speed.
4. Which of the following is true?
A. Once the pesticides are used, locust will die immediately.
B. Relief efforts are proved most fruitful due to the effectiveness of
C. Dieldrin, the most effective locust killer, has been widely accepted in
D. Over 10 million acres of affected area will have been treated with
locust-killing chemicals by the end of June.
5. The purpose for affected nations to meet in Algiers on May 30 is ___.
A. to devise antilocust plans.
B. to wipe out the swarms in two years.
C. to call out for additional financial aid from other nations.
D. to bring the insects under control before the plague gets worse.