Meteorite Crater in Puno, Peru Declared Natural Heritage Site

(LIP-ir) — The area where a meteorite landed in Puno, approximately 800 miles from Lima, has been declared a National Cultural and Natural Heritage Site by the Regional Government of Puno, Peru, said the region’s president, Pablo Hernán Fuentes Guzmán.

The regional president explained that the meteorite crater was being declared a part of Peru’s heritage to preserve it and keep it safe from locals and foreigners that "want to get their hands on it".

Furthermore, Hernán Fuentes stated that these efforts were being made so that the meteorite crater would be protected against the strong rains during this time of year, which could cause the crater to disappear. A national university in Puno has been given the task of preserving the crater during the upcoming rainy season.

The meteorite, which was found to be a chondrite, landed in the town of Carancas near the Peru-Bolivia border on September 15, leaving a crater approximately forty feet in diameter.

The meteorite and its crater have attracted national as well as international attention. After a meteorite collector came to Peru from the US and admitted to having bought thee hundred grams of the meteorite, villagers began to guard the crater.

Fearing the loss of the crater to concerned villagers and the rainy season in Puno, the Regional President announced the crater would be turned into a tourist attraction in November.