1 killed, 11 injured after a magnitude 8 earthquake strikes Peru

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 27, 2019   •   3299

Large cracks seen on roads after a magnitude 8 earthquake rocked Peru on May 26, 2019 | (c) 2019 Thomson Reuters

A magnitude 8 earthquake has killed one person and injured 11 in the northern Amazon in Peru on Sunday (May 26). More than 50 homes were destroyed including schools, churches, and hospitals. 

A 48-year-old man was killed after a boulder struck his home, according to emergency officials.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported that the earthquake was around 75 km SSE (south-southeast) of Lagunas and 180 km east of the town of Moyobamba, Peru. It was also felt in Ecuador and Colombia.

Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra posted on Twitter that authorities were “evaluating the affected areas” and urged people to remain calm.

Meanwhile, there are still no reports from the Department of Foreign Affairs if there are Filipinos affected by the earthquake.

Pinoy invents device that measures building’s structural integrity

Marje Pelayo   •   August 23, 2019

Dr. Francis Aldrine-Uy

MANILA, Philippines – The stability of a structure is best tested during strong earthquakes.

However, inspections usually take days to determine if a building has damage or if it can be declared safe to use.

To help in the process, a Filipino inventor has created a device which can be installed to a structure to measure its strength.

It is called the universal structural health evaluation and recording system (USHER).

Universal structural health evaluation and recording system (USHER).

Dr. Francis Aldrine-Uy said with the device, a building’s structural condition can be assessed just a few hours after an earthquake.

The local government units (LGUs), meanwhile, can immediately direct orders even to the most affected areas right after the device’s assessment is seen.

“Makikita na natin kung nakapula yung mga building na iyon, ibig sabihin nag-suffer ng structural damage ang mga building na iyon after an earthquake (We can see if the buildings are in color red, it means that the building suffered structural damage after the earthquake,)” explained Dr. Uy, the President and CEO of USHER, the inventor of the device.

“Doon po natin i-concentrate ang tulong o ang response na pwede nating madala doon, (That’s where we may concentrate our response,)” he added.

The invention, which is in cooperation with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), can be installed in public facilities like bridges and railways of MRT and LRT.

The device can also measure the degree of intensity when an earthquake strikes.

Regarding the price, Uy said it is way cheaper than those made abroad.

“It could be at least 50% lower in cost,” Dr. Uy said.

“And of course, it will be more sustainable dahil nga ito ay gawang Pinoy at dito natin mina-manufacture (because it’s Filipino made and is locally manufactured),” he added.

Dr. Uy said the instrument can help in mitigating the impact of a strong quake like ‘the Big One’ which is expected to cause massive damages and loss of thousands of lives. – MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Archaeologists in Peru unearth ancient mural reflecting on importance of water

Robie de Guzman   •   August 20, 2019

Archaeologists in northern Peru have unearthed an ancient mural from the lost Caral civilization that is believed to be about 3,800 years old, officials reported.

The discovery was made in the Vichama archaeological site. A team of excavators has brushed away earth from the mural to reveal figures that depict a toad that wraps its hands around the head of a man.

Archaeologist Tatiana Abad, told a news conference in Lima, the mural represents the “announcement of the arrival of water,” adding “it talks about the importance of water in times of crisis and the reflections that we can create from them.”

“It has been found in the same building as last year when we presented one about snakes and this would complement the message. The importance of this mural is its age, which is 3,800 years old, which talks about the importance of water in times of crisis and the reflections that we can create from them,” Abad said.

“It belongs to the late period of what would be the Caral civilization. Caral is 4,500 years old and this relief would’ve been built in the late period within the archaeological site of Vichama in the Huara Valley,” she added.

Excavations at Vichama have been ongoing since 2007 and continue to reveal new insights into the ancient civilization such as an advanced city plan and architecture.

The Caral is believed to be the oldest civilization in the Americas, dating as far back as 3,000 BCE. But little is still known of this ancient city. The site is currently in an arid region of Peru, leaving many to conclude that climate change may have played a role in its demise.

According to archaeologists, the civilization was mysteriously toppled at around 1,600 BCE. (Reuters)

(Production: Carlos Valdez)

Local heroes try to rescue beached whale in Peru

Marje Pelayo   •   August 14, 2019

Locals attempting to help beached whale get back out to sea | Courtesy: Reuters

A group of locals jumped into the surf in Lambayeque, Peru, on Tuesday (August 13) to make a valiant effort to save a beached whale.

The locals pushed on the whale’s sides and its massive tail as they attempted to assist it back to deeper water.

Local media reported that the whale measured some 10 meters (33 feet) and weighed approximately 6.5 tons.

While local media did not report the species of whale on Tuesday, two humpback whales have washed up on Peruvian beaches in the past 15 days.

Humpback whales, once prized by hunters for their blubber, can weigh up to 40 tons and span 60 feet (18 meters) in length. Humpbacks are best known for periodically jumping out of the water, or breaching, behaviour that has attracted throngs of people who take to the seas to engage in whale-watching. – REUTERS

(Production: Carlos Valdez)

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