Contaminated food at funeral kills at least 10 in Peru

admin   •   August 8, 2018   •   2577

A person is transported to a helicopter after eating contaminated food at a funeral in the Peruvian Andes, authorities said on Tuesday, in Ayacucho, Peru, in this undated photo released August 7, 2018. Courtesy of Agencia Andina/Diresa Ayacucho/Handout via REUTERS

At least ten people have died and dozens fell ill after eating contaminated food at a funeral in the Peruvian Andes, authorities said on Tuesday (August 7).

The food appears to have contained organophosphates, a family of chemicals used in pesticides, Health Minister Silvia Pessah said on local broadcaster RPP.

Out of the 50 people sickened at the funeral in the village of San Jose de Ushua on Monday, 10 have died and eight remained in critical condition, Peru’s civil defense agency Indeci said on Twitter.

Authorities were evacuating patients from a rural hospital in Ayacucho, a southern Andean region home to indigenous Quechua-speaking farmers.

Autopsies will confirm the cause of the deaths, the head of Peru’s civil defense agency, Jorge Chavez said on RPP.

Pessah said there have been two incidents of organophosphate poisoning in the same region in recent months.

In 2013, 23 Indian schoolchildren died after eating food contaminated with the pesticide monocrotophos, a substance that belongs to the organophosphate family.

Abel Salinas, a former health minister, said on RPP that the tragedy was a reminder that pesticide containers should never be reused in food preparation. — Reuters

‘An environmental crime’ – millions of seahorses found on ship in Peru

UNTV News   •   October 4, 2019

In an operation at the port of Callao on Monday (September 30), Peruvian authorities seized some 12.3 million seahorses that were illegally caught and allegedly destined to be sold abroad, according to local reports.

The seahorses, of the Hippocampus ingens species which is protected by Peruvian regulations, were dried out and possibly destined to be sold for medicinal purposes in China according to local media.

Four crew members of the ship carrying the illegal contraband were detained by Peruvian authorities and will face charges of up to three to five years according to local media.

The millions of seahorses were stored within the ship in 55 boxes that weighed in at over one ton. (REUTERS)

(Production: Carlos Valdez)

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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