One death has been reported at the site of the Burning Man music and arts festival – thousands of visitors were forced into “survival mode” as torrential rains turned the Nevada desert into a treacherous, muddy pit, authorities said.
The death occurred “during this rain event,” the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office said. according to a KNSD report later Saturday.
However, further details, including the person’s identity or the apparent cause, were not immediately released.
“As this death is still under investigation, no further information is available at this time,” officials said in a statement.
The counterculture festival, held in the Black Rock Desert, was closed early Saturday due to inclement weather caused by the remnants of Hurricane Hilary.
More than 73,000 visitors have been ordered to take shelter and those still en route to the festival have been told by the Federal Bureau of Land Management, the public agency that manages the land on which the event is held, “to turn back and go home”. .
“More rain is expected over the next few days and conditions are not expected to improve enough to allow vehicles to enter the playa,” officials said.
Earlier, organizers had told attendees to conserve food and water, and banned vehicles from the streets as the Burners, as the attendees are known, spent the night huddled in tents and campers covered in mud.
photos and videos posted on social media Show-goers trudge through the muddy desert, some barefoot, others wearing mud-caked shoes and clothing, and still others walking with bags to protect their shoes.
Participants are expected to provide their own food, water and shelter for the duration of the event – which will conclude on Monday with a mass departure called the Exodus.
“I think it’s just a waiting game now,” said contestant Max Spooner, who ran across the grounds with a mattress strapped to his back US TODAY. “Survival mode, here we go.”
Spooner told the newspaper he had to sneak to his car and get dry bed linen after his tent got wet on Friday night.
Temperatures dropped to below 50 degrees at the festival site, the outlet reported.
The storm also meant that many people no longer had cell phone connections, the newspaper reported.
A Los Angeles-based doctor, who asked to remain anonymous because he is not authorized to speak to the media, insiders said The stranded Burners are at risk of multiple diseases, including COVID-19.
You’re also likely to suffer from food poisoning and hygiene-related gastrointestinal distress as essential cleaning supplies run low.
“If it rains again and people can’t use their vehicles for another three to four days, people will be stuck there and there will be resource shortages,” the doctor reportedly said.
“The toilet bowls will likely overflow and that will mix with the mud and rain and potentially spread infectious diseases.”
“As the days go by and people realize they won’t have enough water to wash their dishes, there will be many more sanitation and hygiene issues,” he added.
“So I think maybe people will get a little bit more desperate, and we might see people get sick if they don’t find a way to get out quickly.”
The foiled event drew comparisons to the ill-fated 2017 Fyre Festival in the Bahamas, where organizer Billy McFarland was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and using forged documents to trick investors out of US$26 million -Cheating dollars.
On Saturday, comedian Chris Rock and DJ Diplo walked six miles through the mud to escape the disaster, ending up riding in the back of a fan’s pickup truck.
With post wires