Image: Buried homes
Homes are submerged after a landslide in Porvenir, Peru, on Friday.
updated 4/4/2010 11:31:41 AM ET 2010-04-04T15:31:41

Landslides caused by heavy rains have hit two towns in northeastern Peru, killing at least 29 people and leaving 25 others missing, regional officials say. At least 54 people were injured.

Civil defense chief Hipolito Cruchaga said a landslide in the town of Porvenir killed 23 people Friday and rescuers were still hunting for 25 more. He said 54 people were injured and 120 houses damaged.

A mudslide on Thursday killed six people in the town of Cancejos, Cruchaga said. Forty-five homes there were buried, impacting some 300 people.

The rains and slides come as Peru reopened the famed Inca citadel of Machu Picchu to tourists after a two-month closure due to floods that washed out the rail link to the mountaintop ruins.

Peru's No. 1 tourist site had been shut down since late January, when heavy rains disrupted the rail link from the city of Cuzco and trapped some 4,000 tourists, many of whom had to be rescued with helicopters.

Workers have now finished rehabilitating the last 17 miles of the tracks, though service has not been restored all the way to Cuzco.

Officials have said the entire route is not expected to reopen until June. Until then, tourists can travel by bus from Cuzco to Piscachuco and from there by train to Machu Picchu Pueblo at the base of the ruins.

The train is the only form of transportation to the fortress, though hardier tourists can also hike there along the steep Inca Trail.

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