Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, the pre-Columbian Inca site located 8,000' above sea level in the Peruvian Andes, is blogworthy at any time, but particularly newsworthy right now. You may have missed the reports that 2,000 people - many of them tourists - have been stranded at the site since the weekend, when 5 days of torrential rains caused the Vilcanota and Urubamba rivers to overflow their banks. The flooding caused mudslides that have blocked the railroad tracks of the train from Cuzco - the only way in or out of the area.

People have been sleeping in and around the train station at Aguas Calientes since the area hostels filled up, and they were panicking as food in the local restaurants became scarce. An Argentine woman and her Peruvian guide were killed in their tent when a slope gave way, raising the death toll to 5. The U.S. and Peruvian goverments - and Perurail, the train operator - have mobilized helicopters to rescue the stranded and ferry supplies including food, water, and tents. According to the Peruvian Times, 475 visitors, including 103 Peruvian nationals, had been rescued as of yesterday, foreign tourists are not being favored, and priority is been given to those who are elderly, ill, pregnant, or with small children. But hundreds still await transport, like a woman who called her family in Australia: "She's in tears," said her mother. "She's been two nights standing in the rain. She said the river was just like a tsunami coming down. They were staying in a hotel, they were told to evacuate because the whole building was shaking." Helicopter operations, which can evacuate 120 people an hour, have today been suspended because of adverse weather conditions, reports John Quigley (no relation) of the Bloomberg Press. Chile, Colombia and Brazil have offered to send helicopters, but the route to Machu Picchu is very narrow and can only accommodate the 11 that are on standby.

More from:
Latin American Herald Tribune
Daily Mail
BBC News (all have been evacuated)

1 comment:

  1. Hostels are changing in all times. No exact definition of hostel are available now. They are all opinions and base of their knowledge.

    Pousada Do Rio Quente


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