Mudslides in Machu PichuThe heaviest rains to hit Peru in the past fifteen years have caused mudslides with serious consequences today — 4 people have been killed and 2,000 tourists have been stranded in and around Machu Picchu.

Reports from our contacts at Pardo Medical Center based in Cusco, Peru indicate that the heavy rain is not letting up and that is causing problems for transportation.  The trains are not running and the Cusco airport is closed until at least tomorrow, so the only way out is by helicopter.  The clinics are open for anyone who can get to them.

Like many natural disasters, mudslides cannot be predicted.  If you are visiting or planning to visit a mountainous — or even just hilly — region that has recently experienced heavy rainfall or snowmelt, you may want to reconsider your plans.

Ideally, you will never be in the path of a mudslide, but just in case, it’s a good idea to note these instructions from the Red Cross:

  • Quickly move out of the path of the mudslide or debris flow.  Moving away from the path of the flow to a stable area will reduce your risk.
  • If escape is not possible, curl into a tight ball and protect your head.  A tight ball will provide the best protection for your body.

Though you don’t want to spend time dwelling on worst case scenarios while preparing for vacation, a few minutes of planning can prove to be invaluable.


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