Almost 900 people evacuated amid floods in Peru’s Machu Picchu area

Nearly 900 people were evacuated from the town near Machu Picchu amid rains and floods that left one person missing and several homes destroyed in Peru, according to the tourism ministry.

“So far, in coordination with the Inka Rail and Peru Rail companies, 889 tourists who were stranded by the overflow of the Alccamayo River last Friday at dawn have been transferred from Machu Picchu Pueblo to Ollantaytambo,” the ministry said Monday in a statement.

The heavy rains in Machu Picchu Pueblo caused flooding last Friday when the Alccamayo river, which passes through the town, burst its banks.

One person was reported hurt and another was missing. Several buildings, as well as the railway, suffered structural damage due to the rising waters.

On Monday, access to neighbouring towns was also interrupted by farmers protesting the rise in fertilizer prices and demanding the resignation of the agriculture minister, local media said.

The protest included the closure of the railway to Machu Picchu that was being used in the emergency caused by the rains.

The railway is the main means of access to the Inca citadel from Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca empire, as well as to other locations.

Due to damage to the track caused by the rains, the rail link was already slated to be suspended for tourist services until January 27.

Some 447,800 people visited the Inca ruins in 2021, a figure far below the 1.5 million visitors it used to attract before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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