Peru: Morning News Roundup – Wednesday March 12

Streamlined meteorite hit Peru fast and hard: study

A meteorite that struck Peru in September, digging out a deep hole and startling nearby residents, traveled faster and hit harder than would have been expected, researchers reported on Tuesday. The object, which left a 49-foot-wide (15 meter) crater, was made of rock and, in theory, should have disintegrated in the atmosphere long before reaching the Earth’s surface, said Peter Schultz, a professor of geological sciences at Brown University in Rhode Island. And it may have. But the pieces stayed together and were speeding at 15,000 mph (24,000 kph) when they hit, Schultz told the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in League City, Texas. Usually only meteorites made of metal make it to the surface intact enough to scoop out a crater. "They come into the atmosphere, they slow down, and they plop," Schultz said in a telephone interview. (Reuters – click here to read complete article by Maggie Fox)

Peru bets on desalination to ensure water supplies

Peru plans to start desalinating water from the Pacific Ocean to make up for declining supplies from fast-melting glaciers affected by climate change, President Alan Garcia said on Tuesday. The Andean nation relies for fresh water mostly on rivers, some of which descend the dry western slopes of the Andes and are partly fed by large tropical glaciers that are melting at an unprecedented rate. Garcia said Peru must develop an alternate, more secure source by pumping water from the ocean and desalinating it. "We can’t think about the future with yesterday’s plans. We must use modern technology and this will happen as we treat ocean water," Garcia said at the opening of a conference on desalination. Treating sea water would be cheaper than pumping water over the Andes or from the Amazon rain forest to the coast, where most people live. Lima, Peru’s capital and home to 9 million people, is located in a coastal desert. (Reuters – click here to read complete article)

Helicopter with 10 on board disappears in Peru

A helicopter with 10 people on board disappeared in northern Peru during a routine Rio Tinto mining company flight, the company said in a statement. A ground and air search and rescue operation was called off late Tuesday due to adverse weather conditions over the remote Andean mountain region where the chopper went missing, civil aeronautics officials said. The chopper lost contact with air traffic after it took off Tuesday morning from the gold and silver mining project of La Granja for Chilayo, 780 km north of Lima, Rio Tinto said. The helicopter had two pilots and eight passengers on board. (Times of India – click here to read complete article)

Beaches team trains Peru’s lifeguards

Peruvian lifeguards do their best to save lives without whistles, modern first-aid equipment or training. Three Jacksonville Beach lifeguard instructors are working to improve those conditions in Peru and other developing countries, where 97 percent of the world’s drownings occur, according to the World Health Organization. They formed Salvavidas International, a nonprofit group focusing on public health and education. Their goal is to promote sustainable programs and consistent standards for training, equipping and staffing lifeguards. In a December trip to Peru, they learned that 211 lifeguards with whom they worked – some of them police officers, others volunteers with the Peruvian Lifesaving Association – used homemade buoys, wore uniforms stamped with advertising and bought or rented their equipment. (Jacksonville.com – click here to read complete article by Caren Burmeister)

World Masters Surfing Champs

In less than 25 days, the world’s main surfing event for surfers over 35 years old will begin. The ISA World Masters Surfing Championship will take place at Punta Rocas, Peru from March 29 to April 6. Teams from Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Great Britain, France, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Italy, Tahiti, Switzerland, Dominican Republic, Argentina, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Sweden, Australia and, of course the locals, Peru, have already confirmed their attendance. The ISA World Masters Surfing Championship is a team competition. The nation who places highest in each division will win the gold medal in the team standings, earning the status of the best over 35 surfing country in the world. Individual standings will add points towards the team totals. (Surfersvillage – click here to read complete article)