Australian travellers stranded by mudslides in Peru are claiming to have been forgotten by officials and are asking the Australian government to put pressure on Peruvian authorities. “The landslides have cut off all roads and rail lines to the tourist town of Aguas Calientes, which is close to the famous Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. Sydney woman Julie Nemcich, 29, says Australian consular officials in Lima have told her the Peruvian government is evacuating the estimated 2,000 stranded tourists. But she says local authorities are refusing to allow US or Argentinian helicopters to land in the town. ‘In Aguas Calientes at the moment the over 200 Australians here are in major distress because we really don’t know what’s going to happen,’ she said. ‘We believe there’s been a wasted opportunity. All day today it’s been very clear weather and helicopters could have been landing to get us out of this flooded area. But it seems the Peruvian government are resisting any help from the US, Chilean and Argentinian governments. ‘We’ve seen helicopters flying overhead all day and only a very few Peruvian helicopters have been able to land, and they’ve only been able to pick up what we believe to be Peruvian citizens that are paying.’”
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