(CNN) — About 300 tourists from all over the world are stranded in the ancient city of Machu Picchu after Peru plunged into a state of emergency following the expulsion of its president, the mayor said.
Machu Picchu’s mayor, Darwin Baka, is among stranded travelers: Peruvians, South Americans, Americans and Europeans.
“We asked the government for help and to establish a helicopter flight to evacuate the tourists,” Baka said. The only way to get into and out of town is by train, and these services have been suspended until further notice.
“PeruRail said it was still reviewing the situation,” Baca explained.
Food shortage in Machu Picchu
The mayor also warned that Machu Picchu is already suffering from food shortages due to protests and that the local economy is 100% dependent on tourism.
Baka called on the government, led by new president Dina Boluarte, to establish a dialogue with the local population and end the social unrest as soon as possible.
PeruRail says it will assist affected passengers to change their travel dates.
In a statement, the company said, “While we regret the inconvenience these announcements have caused our passengers, this is due to circumstances beyond our control and the safety of our passengers and employees is our number one priority. We are doing it,” he said.
Tourists stranded elsewhere in Peru
Travelers wait outside Cusco’s airport on Friday after the airport was closed due to protests.
LATAM Airlines Peru said it was temporarily suspending flights between Arequipa’s Alfredo Rodriguez Barón International Airport and Cusco’s Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, 75 kilometers (47 miles) from Machu Picchu. rice field.
“LATAM constantly monitors the political situation in Peru and provides appropriate information according to how it affects our air operations,” the airline said in a statement.
“We are awaiting the response of the relevant authorities who must take corrective action to ensure safety for the development of aviation operations.”
“We regret the inconvenience this situation has caused our passengers, and reinforce our commitment to aviation safety and connectivity in this country,” it added.
Warnings from the US and UK
Demonstrators clash with police during protests in Lima on Thursday.
The U.S. Department of State has issued a travel advisory to citizens traveling to Peru, listing it as a Level 3 “reconsider travel” destination.
“Demonstrations can cause local roads, trains and major highways to close, often without prior notice or estimation of reopening schedules.
“Road closures could significantly reduce access to public transport and airports, hindering movement within and between cities,” it warned.
The UK’s Department for Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth and Development has also warned the public about the situation.
It also said travelers arriving in the capital of Lima could not enter or leave many areas, including Cusco and Arequipa, causing even more disruption.
British citizens were also warned to respect Peru’s curfew and monitor local news and social media for more information.
Tourists running out of drugs
American tourist Catherine Martucci told CNN about being stranded in Machu Picchu, Peru.
Courtesy Kathryn Martucci
An American tourist stranded in Machu Picchu has run out of medication and doesn’t know when she can leave the small town to get more, she told CNN.
Catherine Martucci, 71, from Florida, was on a group trip with 13 other Americans when Peru declared a state of emergency, she said.
Martucci said her travel group was unable to catch the last train from the small town before the railroad closed.
His son, Michael Martucci, who lives in the United States, also spoke to CNN to help his mother find a way out.
“They’ve been there since Monday, but now she and the others she’s with are running out of the drugs they need,” Martucci said. They are safe and thankfully they have food, but there is no way to get more medicine.”
Martucci said her group was due to stay in Machu Picchu for two days, so she was told to pack lightly and bring only two days’ worth of medicine.
On Friday morning, Ms. Martucci said her tour guide took her group to city hall and asked for medical attention, hoping that local officials would understand their situation and help them find a way out. said that it would be evaluated as
“There were about 100 tourists in line and we waited two hours to see a doctor,” Martucci said. I was told they were going to leave.”
Still, Martucci isn’t sure if that will happen, she told CNN.
“There are some people who need help, but the helicopter can only carry 10 people. I don’t know what’s going on.”