2,000 stranded in Machu Picchu, Peru after torrential rains

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

File photo of Machu Picchu

Peruvian highway police said that two thousand tourists have been stranded near the ruins of the ancient Machu Picchu citadel, after torrential rains caused mudslides, blocking the train route that goes from the site to Cusco.

Soledad Caparo, a spokeswoman for Perurail commented that the train operator suspended service earlier today, and is trying to remove the mud that is blocking the rail.

The last leg of the trip from Machu Picchu to Cusco is only possible by rail; Peruvian Tourism Minister Martin Perez remarked that the government might try to evacuate those stranded via helicopter.

The Vilcanota and Rio Blanco rivers located nearby, meanwhile both have overflowed, flooding hundreds of hectares of corn crop and fifty homes, according to officials. The Cusco-Abancay highway was also blocked due to the overflowing Yanama, with vehicle traffic lining up, unable to get through. Two people were killed by the rains.