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USA. Burning Man Festival. Thousands of people trapped in the mud in the Nevada desert

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Thousands of people cannot leave the Burning Man festival in the desert in the US state of Nevada. The area where the annual event takes place is covered in mud due to heavy rainfall. Authorities are investigating the death of one person during the event, CNN reported on Sunday.

Access to and from Black Rock City, the festival site, has been closed “for the remainder of the event,” organizers said on social media. This year, the Burning Man festival takes place from August 27 to September 4. Participants were asked to shelter in place and conserve food, water and fuel.

The rain “made it virtually impossible for vehicles to pass through the desert,” the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office said. Organizers warned that cars trying to leave would get stuck in the mud, writes CNN.

“A situation that required a complete suspension of traffic”

“Rain over the last 24 hours caused a situation that required a complete suspension of vehicle traffic,” said the US Bureau of Land Management, the agency managing the area where the event takes place. Saturday’s statement added, “More rain is expected to fall and conditions will not improve enough to allow vehicles to enter.” According to organizers, roads could reopen on Monday late afternoon local time, weather permitting.

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The Pershing County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating a “death during heavy rain.” No details were provided about the circumstances in which this person died.

The campsite at Burning Man is drowning in mudReuters/Paul Reder

“The mud was up to my ankles”

Some festival participants walked for miles to reach main roads. Hanna Burhorn, who attended the event for the first time, told CNN that people waded through the thick mud barefoot or with bags tied to their feet.

– Those who tried to ride a bike got stuck because the mud was ankle-deep – she described. She added that it was so thick that it “sticked to the shoes and almost looked like a shoe around a shoe.”

As Paul Reder, who came to the festival in a campervan, said in an interview with Reuters, “fortunately, we are in a quite large camp with a lot of supplies.” – Everyone shares with each other – he added. The man, who has been participating in the event for 22 years, estimated that the area would dry out in two days at the earliest.

According to CNN, it’s not entirely clear exactly how many people are stuck at the festival, but more than 70,000 people usually attend.

Burning Man Festival

The Burning Man music and art festival takes place in the Black Rock Desert in northeastern Nevada in the temporary town of Black Rock City, organized for the event and equipped with the necessary infrastructure. The name of the event comes from the climax of the event, which is the burning of a giant wooden effigy on the penultimate night. According to the festival’s website, participants gather to “create art, dance and enjoy fellowship.” The event is visited by celebrities and influencers.

Reuters, CNN, tvnmeteo.pl

Main photo source: Reuters/Paul Reder

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