Floods leave tourists stranded at Machu Picchu
Tuesday 26 January 2010
Heavy rains and mudslides in Peru blocked the train route to the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, keeping nearly 2,000 tourists stranded.
The government declared an emergency in the region and evacuated 20 elderly and ill tourists by helicopter from the village of Machu Picchu near the ruins, Lima's CPN radio said.
Government officials said 1,954 tourists in all had been stranded in the village.
The train is the only means of transportation on the last leg of the trip to the ruins from the city of Cuzco and service was suspended after mudslides on Sunday.
"Many people have run out of dollars or Peruvian soles and are begging for food or water for their children or for accommodation. Others are strewn about the floor of the train station waiting," Mexican tourist Alva Ramirez, 40, said by telephone from a hostel.
Ms Ramirez said hotels were full and turning people away in the village, a tangle of restaurants and traveller's hostels that has sprung up in recent years on either side of the railway. Tourists must pass through the village on their way to the ruins.
Perurail spokeswoman Soledad Caparo said train company crews were working nonstop to clear rock and mud covering the tracks, but she said flooding of the adjacent Urubamba River had slowed the cleanup.
Rains stopped last night and Perurail said in a statement that service could resume today, "weather permitting".
It added that military helicopters delivered food and water to the village and would return today to continue evacuations.
The company said it was providing stranded passengers with meals, with support from the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge.
Chilean tourist Martin Squella, 19, said many travellers slept on the street and that restaurants raised prices to take advantage of the high demand.
Heavy rains battered the Cuzco region over the past three days. Floods and slides killed a woman and a baby and damaged stone walls at archaeological sites near Cuzco, the ancient Inca capital.
"This year is absolutely atypical. This situation hasn't occurred in the last 15 years. ... the river has never been so high," Tourism and Foreign Commerce Minister Martin Perez said at a news conference.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
Top 10 cheapest cities to visit, according to TripAdvisor
The 50 Best spas
Top 10 countries for cosmetic surgery procedures
Man tweets about bad service, gets kicked off plane, told to delete tweet before re-boarding
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- < Previous
- Next >
£23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...
Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...