Monday, Jan. 25, 2010, heavy rains and mudslides in Southern Peru triggered up to 40 landslides, one of which blocked the railway connecting Machu Picchu with the city of Cuzco (where we lived when we first moved to Peru). The train is the only means of transportation on the last leg of the trip to the ruins from the city of Cuzco. There were over 2,000 stranded tourists from all over the world. Some of the stranded travelers are being airlifted to safety by Peruvian military helicopters, but there are many still stranded in an area where there are no empty hostals and low food supplies.
Extensive areas in Cusco are now covered with muddy water, due to the overflow of rivers, roads are destroyed by mudslides, hundreds are injured, entire valleys are destroyed, people are homeless and displaced, and bridges are destroyed. In several towns of the southern Andes, families are trying to save their belongings and evacuate to bigger and safer cities. There are no official reports on the numbers of missing people yet, but there are reports of 5 to 10 people killed. The government of Lima has declared Cusco in state of emergency for 60 days.
photos by WAtoday.com.au