Friday, January 29, 2010

Another Day, Another Evacuation

Allard Schmidt: "This picture was taken a...Image via Wikipedia

Stranded Amcits in Aguas Calientes, Urubamba, Machu Picchu and Cuzco

The State Department has issued the following Travel Alert on the flooding in Peru on January 28:

Heavy rains have caused landslides throughout Peru’s Sacred Valley, blocking overland and train routes into and out of the major tourist destinations of Cuzco and Macchu Picchu.  The government of Peru has declared a state of emergency in the affected region.  The U.S. Embassy is actively engaged in a joint Peruvian-led effort to help evacuate stranded U.S. citizens and others in Aguas Calientes, at the base of Machu Picchu.  U.S. citizens intending to travel to the Sacred Valley of Peru should postpone their plans for at least the next several days.

The Peruvian government and the Embassy are sending helicopters to the city of Aguas Calientes to assist in removing people stranded by the weather.  Delays resulting from the rains, high altitude and fuel shortages have hampered air operations.   The Embassy sent teams to Aguas Calientes, where many tourists are stranded; to the town of Urubamba, where tourists who are being evacuated from the area of Machu Picchu are arriving; and to Cuzco, to assist American citizens who are stranded there.  The road from Urubamba to Cuzco is open and transportation is being provided to the evacuees.  U.S. citizens in Cuzco may wish to contact the U.S. Consular Agency located at Avenida Pardo #845, in Cuzco. For inquiries about U.S. citizens in the affected region, please call 1-888-407-4747 or email PeruCuzco@state.gov.

On January 27, the Spokesman confirmed that there are “about 200 American citizens around Aguas Calientes.”

The US Embassy in Peru has issued an update to its Warden Message (Posted: January 27, 2010):

The government of Peru has declared a state of emergency for 60 days in two southeast provinces due to heavy rains.  The region has suffered flash floods, landslides and flooding that have closed roads, bridges and railines.  The airport in Cusco is operating sporadically.

This measure covers the provinces of Cusco and Apurimac, and their towns of Calca, Cusco City, Urubamba, Canchis Quispicanchi, Anta and the Convention.  Included in affected areas are Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu Pueblo. 

The U.S. Embassy has sent field teams to Aguas Calientes, where many tourists are stranded; to Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley, where tourists who are being evacuated from the area of Machu Picchu are arriving; and to Cusco, to assist American citizens who are stranded there.  The road from Ollantaytambo to Cusco is open and transportation is being provided to the evacuees.  American citizens may wish to contact the US consular agency located at Avenida Pardo #845, in Cusco. 

The Embassy is attempting to send helicopters to Aguas Calientes, at the base of the Machu Picchu ruins, to assist in removing American citizens, and in support of Peruvian Government assistance operations.  Delays resulting from the rains, high altitude and fuel shortages may hamper air operations. 

Read the full Warden Message here.



2 comments:

Dave said...

I'm about to get a student teacher from a small, local private college here in MN, but unfortunately she's stranded in Peru due to the rains! How about that, she's likely one of the two hundred.

Haven't heard from her, but local news is carrying the story here in MN. Sounds like everyone from the school is actually doing ok under the circumstances. Don't know about others...

diplopundit said...

Dave - I'm confident that the embassy there is doing everything they can to evacuate the Americans who want to leave and return to the US. The Spokesman indicated yesterday that all American citizens will be off the mountain by the end of the day.

CNN has also reported that authorities in Peru have rescued the last of hundreds of travelers who had been stranded by flooding in Aguas Calientes. 1,460 tourists were reportedly evacuated from Aguas Calientes, bringing the total rescued during the past three days to 4,005 -- 3,500 of them tourists.

I hope she gets home soon.