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Birds claim Peru beach emptied by virus outbreak

Birds claim Peru beach emptied by virus outbreak
LIMA, Peru (AP) - Agua Dulce beach is usually a sea of humanity, packed with as many as 40,000 people a day at the height of Peru's Southern Hemisphere summer, which runs from December to March.
The new coronavirus pandemic has changed all that. Peru's President Martín Vizcarra declared a state of emergency as deaths began to mount and ordered people to stay home, largely emptying the beach of people.
The half-mile-long (kilometer-long) strip of grayish-brown sand 12 miles (20 kilometers) south of central Lima is normally a haven for the working classes, a place where visitors from the Andean highlands first dip a toe in the sea.
But in recent days, an army of seabirds has claimed the sandy territory abandoned by people. Densely thronged pedestrian bridges are all but empty. Instead of chaotic human footprints, the beach is tattooed with the tracks of gulls and pelicans.
Police officers who recently monitored the beach for unlicensed vendors catering to the crowds now walk along the empty beach to warn off would-be swimmers. Those caught out are usually let go with a warning.
Among the few defying the order was Tomas Cabrera, 86, who sat on a jetty enjoying the rare solitude.
This Feb. 16, 2020 photo shows the the Agua Dulce public beach packed with thousands of beachgoers in Lima, Peru. On some weekends during the Southern Hemisphere summer, which runs from December until March, as many as 40,000 people a day visit the half-mile-long (kilometer-long) strip of Agua Dulce. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
This Feb. 16, 2020 photo shows the the Agua Dulce public beach packed with thousands of beachgoers in Lima, Peru. On some weekends during the Southern Hemisphere summer, which runs from December until March, as many as 40,000 people a day visit the half-mile-long (kilometer-long) strip of Agua Dulce. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
"There are no people in the streets, no cars circulating, no factories running," he said.
In this March 24, 2020 photo, thousands of birds flock to Agua Dulce beach now largely absent of beachgoers in Lima, Peru. The birds began swarming the empty shores since Peru's president declared a state emergency and ordered people to stay home to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Peru confirmed its first coronavirus case on March 6. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this March 24, 2020 photo, thousands of birds flock to Agua Dulce beach now largely absent of beachgoers in Lima, Peru. The birds began swarming the empty shores since Peru's president declared a state emergency and ordered people to stay home to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Peru confirmed its first coronavirus case on March 6. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Feb. 16, 2020 photo, people walk across a crowded pedestrian bridge leading to and from Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. Until the mid-20th century, Lima's lower classes couldn't afford beach-going, said Juan Pacheco, a historian of the city. Road-building to the coast solved that. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Feb. 16, 2020 photo, people walk across a crowded pedestrian bridge leading to and from Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. Until the mid-20th century, Lima's lower classes couldn't afford beach-going, said Juan Pacheco, a historian of the city. Road-building to the coast solved that. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this March 24, 2020 photo, Cesar Daniel Fiestas crosses a popular pedestrian bridge absent of people, after having a swim in the waters of Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. This year the final days of summer fun came to an abrupt end when Peru's president suspended rights to free movement and instructed people to remain in their homes to help reduce the spread of the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this March 24, 2020 photo, Cesar Daniel Fiestas crosses a popular pedestrian bridge absent of people, after having a swim in the waters of Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. This year the final days of summer fun came to an abrupt end when Peru's president suspended rights to free movement and instructed people to remain in their homes to help reduce the spread of the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Feb. 15, 2020 photo, boys sit in an inflatable pool while eating green sugar-coated apples as policemen work to remove an unlicensed food vendor, at Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Feb. 15, 2020 photo, boys sit in an inflatable pool while eating green sugar-coated apples as policemen work to remove an unlicensed food vendor, at Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this March 24, 2020 photo, policemen walk along an empty shore on the final days of the Southern Hemisphere summer to warn off would be swimmers as a precaution contain the spread of the new coronavirus, at Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this March 24, 2020 photo, policemen walk along an empty shore on the final days of the Southern Hemisphere summer to warn off would be swimmers as a precaution contain the spread of the new coronavirus, at Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Feb. 15, 2020 photo, beachgoers rinse off their bodies of sand and salt after swimming in the Pacific Ocean waters at Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Feb. 15, 2020 photo, boys sit in an inflatable pool while eating green sugar-coated apples as policemen work to remove an unlicensed food vendor, at Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this March 24, 2020 photo, policemen walk along an empty shore on the final days of the Southern Hemisphere summer to warn off would be swimmers as a precaution contain the spread of the new coronavirus, at Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this March 24, 2020 photo, policemen walk along an empty shore on the final days of the Southern Hemisphere summer to warn off would be swimmers as a precaution contain the spread of the new coronavirus, at Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Feb. 15, 2020 photo, beachgoers rinse off their bodies of sand and salt after swimming in the Pacific Ocean waters at Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Feb. 15, 2020 photo, beachgoers rinse off their bodies of sand and salt after swimming in the Pacific Ocean waters at Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
This March 25, 2020 photo shows a row of public showers typically overflowing with beachgoers, at Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
This March 25, 2020 photo shows a row of public showers typically overflowing with beachgoers, at Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Feb. 16, 2020 photo, beachgoers relax in the sand at Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. While Lima's elite passes its summer weekends in gated beach enclaves south of the Peruvian capital, the working class jams by the thousands on this municipal beach. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Feb. 16, 2020 photo, beachgoers relax in the sand at Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. While Lima's elite passes its summer weekends in gated beach enclaves south of the Peruvian capital, the working class jams by the thousands on this municipal beach. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
This March 24, 2020 photo shows a carcass surrounded by bird tracks on the shore of Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. Ten days after a state of emergency was declared in Peru in response to the new coronavirus outbreak, the usually crowded beaches of Lima have been taken over by Peruvian gulls and pelicans. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
This March 24, 2020 photo shows a carcass surrounded by bird tracks on the shore of Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. Ten days after a state of emergency was declared in Peru in response to the new coronavirus outbreak, the usually crowded beaches of Lima have been taken over by Peruvian gulls and pelicans. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Feb. 16, 2020 photo, transgender Natalia, a Venezuelan migrant, strikes a pose as she wades in shallow waters along the shore of Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Feb. 16, 2020 photo, transgender Natalia, a Venezuelan migrant, strikes a pose as she wades in shallow waters along the shore of Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
This March 25, 2020 photo shows an aerial view of Agua Dulce beach absent of beachgoers in the final days of the Southern Hemisphere summer, in Lima, Peru. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
This March 25, 2020 photo shows an aerial view of Agua Dulce beach absent of beachgoers in the final days of the Southern Hemisphere summer, in Lima, Peru. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Feb. 23, 2020 photo, people put on their street clothes after spending a day at Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. Most of the beachgoers arrive and return home on public transportation, a 12 mile (20 kilometers) trip south of the city center. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Feb. 23, 2020 photo, people put on their street clothes after spending a day at Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. Most of the beachgoers arrive and return home on public transportation, a 12 mile (20 kilometers) trip south of the city center
In this March 25, 2020 photo, Tomas Cabrera, 86, meditates on a jetty along the Pacific coast in Lima, Peru, defying a stay-at-home order decreed by the government to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. Cabrera claimed it was a marvelous day for him because, "there were no people in the streets, no cars circulating, no factories running." (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this March 25, 2020 photo, Tomas Cabrera, 86, meditates on a jetty along the Pacific coast in Lima, Peru, defying a stay-at-home order decreed by the government to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. Cabrera claimed it was a marvelous day for him because, "there were no people in the streets, no cars circulating, no factories running." (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Feb. 23, 2020 photo, a man, holding his birthday cake, poses for a photo with his family on the shore of Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. The half-mile-long (kilometer-long) strip of grayish-brown sand 12 miles (20 kilometers south of central Lima) is a haven for the working classes, a place where visitors from the Andean highlands first dip a toe in the sea. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Feb. 23, 2020 photo, a man, holding his birthday cake, poses for a photo with his family on the shore of Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. The half-mile-long (kilometer-long) strip of grayish-brown sand 12 miles (20 kilometers south of central Lima) is a haven for the working classes, a place where visitors from the Andean highlands first dip a toe in the sea. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
This March 25, 2020 photo shows a statue of Peruvian naval hero Miguel Grau overlooking the Pacific coast on the normally popular boardwalk usually filled with vistors, in Lima, Peru. The new coronavirus pandemic has changed all that. Peru's President Martín Vizcarra declared a state of emergency as deaths began to mount and ordered people to stay home. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
This March 25, 2020 photo shows a statue of Peruvian naval hero Miguel Grau overlooking the Pacific coast on the normally popular boardwalk usually filled with vistors, in Lima, Peru. The new coronavirus pandemic has changed all that. Peru's President Martín Vizcarra declared a state of emergency as deaths began to mount and ordered people to stay home. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

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