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Massive mudslide strands US, EU tourists at Peru's Macchu Picchu
LIMA (AFP) Oct 13, 2005
A huge mudslide has swept over the railroad tracks to Macchu Picchu, stranding almost 2,000 US and European tourists at the ancient Inca citadel where they may remain until Saturday, authorities said Thursday.

The mudslide early Thursday covered about 500 meters of the track linking Macchu Picchu to the city of Cusco, and some of the track was under two meters of water, said a source at Peru Rail, which runs the rail service.

Restoring rail service will take at least two days, according to Peru Rail and civil defense officials who hope to open up a small trail for any urgent evacuations.

The interruption in service means those 1,750 or so tourists cannot return to Cusco, while another 1,800 were not able to travel from Cusco to the landmark Andean citadel.

National Natural Resources Institute officials have voiced concern that the mudslides have been aggravated by melting mountain snowcaps due to global warming.

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