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Peru mudslides hit Machu Picchu

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 875719
Australia
01/27/2010 04:35 PM
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Peru mudslides hit Machu Picchu
Peru mudslides hit Machu Picchu


The ancient Inca citadel is the region's biggest tourist attraction
Six people have died and hundreds of tourists are trapped in Peru after mudslides near the historic ruins of Machu Picchu, authorities said.
The mudslides on Saturday morning cut off rail and road links between the Incan site and the city of Cuzco, local officials told Peruvian radio.

Several other people are missing and are feared dead, they said.

The officials appealed for help, saying the area could not be reached even by helicopter because of bad weather.


I'm with the people of Aguas Calientes, seeing their anguish and sadness

Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo


Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo was in the area when the landslides happened and was co-ordinating rescue efforts, his office said.
He was working on a TV travel programme on Peru.

The people died when an avalanche of rock and mud destroyed their homes in the town of Aguas Calientes, where one of the landslides occurred.

"I suspended all my activities to come to the zone that was hit by the avalanches," Mr Toledo said. "I'm with the people of Aguas Calientes, seeing their anguish and sadness."

Track repairs

The other slide, at the entrance to Machu Picchu, destroyed part of the railway line that carries tourists to and from the ancient citadel, 2,400m (7,782ft) high in the Andes.



No tourists were hurt or missing, officials said.
"Here in Aguas Calientes, only three houses by the river have been destroyed," said local Internet cafe owner, Luis.

"Now the situation is calm, everything is under control. Phone and fax lines are working and there is no shortage of food."

A spokeswoman for the Peru Rail company said repairs to the track had already started and it might be possible to evacuate the tourists on Sunday.

Up to 1,500 visitors were spending the Easter weekend at the historic site.

Some 400,000 people visit Peru's most famous tourist attraction every year.

The 15th century fortress, thought to have been built by the great Inca ruler Pachacutec, was rediscovered in 1911
[link to news.bbc.co.uk]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 873432
United States
01/27/2010 04:38 PM
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Re: Peru mudslides hit Machu Picchu
April 10, 2004?
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 875719
Australia
01/27/2010 04:43 PM
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Re: Peru mudslides hit Machu Picchu
April 10, 2004?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 873432


Silly Me - Sorry


Australians 'forgotten' in Peru mudslides
Posted Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:48pm AEDT
Updated 9 hours 49 minutes ago


A bridge and a police station are destroyed by flooding of a river at the entrance to the Inca's Sacred Valley town of Pisac, Peru. (Reuters: Roxabel Ramon/Diario El Comercio)

Audio: Sarah Gerathy talks to Julie Nemcich, who has been stranded by mudslides in Peru. (ABC News) Related Story: No Australians dead in Peru mudslides: DFAT Related Story: Tourists evacuated after Peru mudslides Australian travellers stranded by landslides in Peru say they have been forgotten and want the Federal Government to put pressure on Peruvian authorities to speed up evacuation efforts.

The landslides have cut off all roads and rail lines to the tourist town of Aguas Calientes, which is close to the famous Inca ruins of Machu Picchu.

Sydney woman Julie Nemcich, 29, says Australian consular officials in Lima have told her the Peruvian government is evacuating the estimated 2,000 stranded tourists.

But she says local authorities are refusing to allow US or Argentinian helicopters to land in the town.

""In Aguas Calientes at the moment the over 200 Australians here are in major distress because we really don't know what's going to happen," she said.

"We believe there's been a wasted opportunity. All day today it's been very clear weather and helicopters could have been landing to get us out of this flooded area.

"But it seems the Peruvian government are resisting any help from the US, Chilean and Argentinian governments.

"We've seen helicopters flying overhead all day and only a very few Peruvian helicopters have been able to land, and they've only been able to pick up what we believe to be Peruvian citizens that are paying."

Ms Nemcich says some tourists have tried to hike out of the area but 12 people have been killed by landslides. But media reports put the death toll at five.

Ms Nemcich and her fiance Angus Lander, 27, are "lucky" to be staying in a hotel, but those gathered in the town are concerned about supplies.

"It seems that with some of the helicopters that landed there were a few supplies, but that is a definite concern with five days of rain coming in," she said.

"People are sleeping in the street square, they're sleeping in gyms, in schools, on trains, in makeshift tents. People are just distressed everywhere on the street."


'Await evacuation'

And Ms Nemcich says the Australian embassy has "no idea what's going on".

"I think the feeling amongst Australians here is that we've been forgotten and we are one of the biggest contingents of tourists here. It is quite unbelievable - we are up to over 200 Australians," she said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) says the Australian Government is not organising evacuations for the Australians at this stage.

However, DFAT says it is in "direct contact" with many of the stranded Australians and their tour providers.

"We recognise that the Australians currently stranded in the Aguas Calientes/Macchu Picchu area are uncomfortable and frustrated," DFAT said in a statement.

"But we urge them to exercise patience and await evacuation by the Peruvian authorities.

"Peruvian authorities are in the process of evacuating tourists by helicopter from the Aguas Calientes/Macchu Picchu area to Oliantaytambo (in the Sacred Valley) and then by road to Cuzco and flights to and from Cuzco have resumed."

DFAT estimates up to 170 Australians may be in the affected area and says it is aware of media reports that an Australian man was killed by the mudslides.

But it says the journalist behind the original report has since told the Australian Consulate-General in Lima that he made an error and that the victim was actually an Argentinian.
[link to www.abc.net.au]





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