LIMA, Peru – Heavy rains and mudslides in Peru blocked the train route to the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu on Monday, keeping nearly 2,000 tourists stranded.
The government declared an emergency in the region Monday and evacuated 20 elderly and ill tourists by helicopter from the village of Machu Picchu Pueblo near the ruins, Lima’s CPN radio said.
Government officials said 1,954 tourists in all had been stranded in the village.
The train is the only means of transportation on the last leg of the trip to the ruins from the city of Cuzco and service was suspended after mudslides Sunday.
“Many people have run out of dollars or Peruvian soles and are begging for food or water for their children or for accommodations. Others are strewn about the floor of the train station waiting,” a Mexican tourist said by telephone from a hostel Monday.
Rains stopped Monday night and Perurail said that service could resume today.