30 Jan 2010

All tourists now evacuated from Machu Picchu

8:51 pm on 30 January 2010

Peruvian authorities say they have have successfully completed the evacuation of thousands of tourists stranded for days by mudslides and flooding near Machu Picchu.

Tourism Minister Martin Perez said that members of the police and military conducted an extensive search of hotels and homes to verify that there was not a single tourist in the zone.

He said they evacuated 1,460 tourists on Saturday.

In total, over four days, the government rescued 3,500 tourists in 276 flights said Mr Perez.

More than 20 New Zealanders were among those to be evacuated and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said all are safe and well.

Torrential rains had drenched the region, washing out roads and sections of a railway between Cusco and Aguas Calientes, and causing floods and mudslides that affected more than 25,000 people.

Seven people were killed.