Machu Picchu Evacuation Complete, Last Tourist Evacuated To Safety

February 1st, 2010 - 8:40 pm ICT by GD  

By Madhuri Dey
machuLima, Peru, Feb. 1, (THAINDIAN NEWS) A major mudslide, along with heavy rainfall, has forced the Peruvian Government to send rescue teams to the Machu Picchu ruins to help in the evacuation of the tourists who got stuck in the area. The mudslide, that had been caused by excessive rainfall, resulted in the blocking off of the railway that formed the site’s sole connection to the rest of the city. Following the mudslide, it was estimated that a total of about 3,900 tourists had been stuck in the place. The last of the tourists to have been evacuated from the area stayed there for almost a week.

After the mudslide occurred, the Peruvian government immediately sent rescue troops to the ruined city. It took the Peruvian soldiers about four days to rescue all the trapped tourists, and by the morning of Thursday, about 1,402 of the tourists had been rescued. Since the only route was closed, they were transported in helicopters, thanks to the fact that the weather had improved. By the end of the week, all the tourists had been evacuated safely, in 276 flights and 12 helicopters. The Foreign Ministry of Peru informed that the last tourist, a woman, has been evacuated from the area on Saturday.

The rescued tourists were taken to a village nearby, and then were put into buses bound for Cusco. Six of the helicopters provided for the rescue operations were lent by the United States. Argentina and Chile also pitched in with military help for the repatriation of residents of the respective countries. The Peruvian Tourism Minister, Martin Perez, commented that evacuation was compulsory for all the tourists, even those who wished to stay back.

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