Peru Hit by Worst Rains in 15 Years

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A helicopter arrives to rescue tourists who have been stranded at the ancients Inca ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru.

The iconic site which attracts thousands of tourists every year was cut off after a river burst its banks flooding rail lines used to carry tourist trains to and from the ruins.

More than 2,000 tourists were trapped here following the worst rains for 15 years.

[Unidentified Foreign Tourist]:
"At the rail station there are no rails. All the railway broken from the water, it's all flooded."

Two people have been killed in mudslides as authorities announced a state of emergency in Cusco – the town near Machu Picchu – and the surrounding area.

Rescue efforts have prioritised the infirm and elderly.

Many tourists have had to find emergency accommodation.

Roads have been closed and the famous Inca Trail, which many tourists hike along to reach Machu Picchu, has also been temporarily shut.

West of Cusco, homes and crops have been damaged by the flood water.

Locals are desperate for emergency aid.

Juan Aguirre, Local Resident]:
"We urgently need tents, bedding, medicine and pipes. Six-inch or eight-inch pipes to try and feed off the flood water that is coming off the hills."

For these trouts in a trout farm: an unexpected taste of freedom.

But for the people in this area it's an ominous start to a rainy season which is expected to last another two months.

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