In January 2010, torrential rains caused major flooding and landslides in a large area including the location of the property, thus affecting the property, resulting in two fatalities, seriously affecting local populations, tourists, damaging infrastructure, roads and rail links, and impacting Machu Picchu town, Puente Ruinas, Piscakuchu, numerous archaeological complexes, access points to the Citadel, and water reservoirs. Graphic images are available at: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/274/documents/ (February 2010 technical mission report): From 7 to 9 February 2010, a mission was carried out by the World Heritage Centre to review information provided on the geodynamic and hydro meteorological phenomena that caused the disaster, and the ways in which the national authorities had warned of the imminent dangers, as well as clarifying the measures the State Party was going to undertake to: (a) assess the damage; and (b) mitigate the adverse effects on natural and cultural heritage by identifying immediate actions to restore normal conditions. The mission considered that a range of natural factors, land management issues, and weaknesses in planning and response contributed to the severity of the event.
The mission met with a representative of the National Institute of Civil Defence (Instituto Nacional de Defensa Civil – INDECI) who explained that, since the introduction of the Organic Law of Municipalities of 2008, Civil Defence matters have been decentralized to the regional governments. The representative noted that following a technical visit to the Sanctuary by INDECI in August 2009, a report was submitted to the Mayor of Machu Picchu town, informing him of the risks and recommending that no further constructions be carried out and that possible evacuation procedures be identified in the case of landslides. It also noted the process of establishing the warning system and the difficulties in implementing an evacuation and contingency plan in the area. The mission was concerned that there has been a lack of response to these recommendations.
The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies express their grave concern at the state of conservation and effective management of the property. Management of areas within and surrounding the property was inadequate to reduce risks and prepare for and respond to disasters. A range of actions identified in the Emergency Plan of May 2009 which could have helped to avoid these impacts have not yet been implemented.
During the World Heritage Centre mission in February 2010, discussions took place between the Ministry of Environment, the Director of INC, the Director of SERNANP, and other Peruvian authorities, on how to coordinate the governance of the Sanctuary to include changes in the designation of the roles of various institutions and the subsequent decision- making processes within the Machu Picchu Management Unit (Unidad de gestión de Machu Picchu-UGM). Various strategies were proposed, namely to establish an institution of the highest management hierarchy composed of Ministers and chaired by the Ministry of Environment, and a technical body coordinated by INC and SERNANP. Both institutions would work urgently on a preliminary text of the Emergency Decree, encompassing the operational activities for a one year, with the intention of clearly establishing a national authority for the Sanctuary and a law that decrees the Sanctuary as a Special Protection Area. This highlighted the need for urgent action to provide safety and protection of residents and tourists as well as the preservation of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu and its buffer zone, and the urgent need to regulate land use and activities taking place in the District of Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes) and surrounding areas of the Sanctuary. Unfortunately, the Emergency Decree was not approved.
In March 2010 the State Party submitted additional information on the areas of the Sanctuary that were significantly impacted by flood waters, and the efforts undertaken in the restoration of access to the property and to the region.
On 16 March 2010 the Ministry of the Environment presented to the Secretary of the Council of Ministers a draft of a Presidential Decree in defence of natural heritage protected areas at
State of conservation of World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List
WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add, p. 76