Observations from the Atico Area

Two points measured here. A site on the north end of town where the remains of a broken down structure were swept off of the foundation. Some youths that told me they witnessed the event said the water withdrew first then came back to just over the berm. It withdrew again and came back higher over the berm and swept the foundation clean. A small amount of debris and flow marks were seen on the landward side of the foundation and there were a few small pools of evaporating water with a salt crust left behind. Runuph er ewas near 3 m.

The second point was on the south end of town. The point measured was a questionable line behind the berm. The height of the berm was 3.5 m above current sea level. Another, possibly more convincing debris line, above some high tide marks, but below the berm was observed at an elevation near 3 m, below the crest of the berm.

The Pan-American Highway south of Atico and North of Ocoña runs right along the coast, clinging to the edge of a sand dune sometimes hundreds of feet above water with few guardrails. The road was only open to 1-way traffic. 100 cars in either direction were allowed to run to 1.5 hr stretch. So that meant you could wait up to three hours. Our Peruvian Naval escorts got us to the front of the line of trucks that was queued up before the tollbooth. 45 minutes we were told. 1.5 hrs later we got to start our engines.

A dark windy road with many, many cracks running down the centerline. Sections of the shoreward lane had fallen off into the ocean in large chunks. About half way through the stretch, we came to a screeching halt when a giant, van sized boulder was seen to be blocking the highway. It must have fallen in the last hour or so since there was no way a truck of any size could have gotten around it. It had happened to fall right where a large backhoe was parked on the seaward side of the highway. We squeezed through the space with barely a foot on either side of the truck between the boulder and the backhoe for clearance. We were VERY lucky to get by at all. Drove 2 more hrs to Camana, arriving around 9 p.m. Tired and hungry.


Back to Home Page