Damage at Machu Picchu assessed after torrential rains

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Friday, 29 January, 2010 - 00:00
South America

UNESCO's World Heritage Centre has recently conducted a technical visit to the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, Peru to assess damage from recent torrential rains. The World Heritage Centre is concerned that the vast quantity of water has affected the water-bearing capacity of soils, leading to a threat of future landslides and fatalities in the core zone of the site. The nature of the reconstruction of the road and trail, potentially creating uncontrolled access to the Sanctuary and impacting the outstanding universal value of the site, are also concerns.

In January 2010 heavy rain caused flooding which washed away roads and railway tracks leading to Machu Picchu, trapping more than 2,000 tourists at the site. They have since been evacuated, along with 2,000 local people. Machu Picchu has since been closed but is set to reopen by the end of February. Machu Picchu is Peru's most visited tourist site.