Peru: Last group of Machu Picchu tourists may be rescued today


Peru’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism Martin Perez hopes to evacuate on Friday the last group of tourists stranded near Machu Picchu.

"I think the rescue operation will officially end sometime today if the weather cooperates," Perez pointed out.

Peruvian Tourism Minister Martin Perez said only about 800 tourists — mostly younger travelers — were still in Machu Picchu Pueblo, the closest village to the ruins that stand on an Andean mountain ridge 8,000 feet (2,400 meters) up.

“I’ve seen about 500 people in some areas; there are people perfectly lined up at the heliport, while others stand next to the wagons to keep their shifts and there should be more staying in hotels," he added.

Clear skies Thursday allowed helicopters to fly 1,402 people out of the town, and Perez said the rest could be evacuated in another day if the weather held.

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