(ReclaimingAmerica.net) – HAPPENING NOW: A state of emergency has been declared at the Burning Man festival in Nevada, where massive rains have closed all roads and at least one death has been reported.
Over 70,000 attendees have been told to go into “survival mode” as they ration food and water.
Specifically, tragedy struck the famous Burning Man music and arts festival as a death was confirmed amidst the challenging conditions caused by unexpected torrential rains.
As reported by the authorities, these rains have transformed the Nevada desert landscape, usually accustomed to the festival, into a dangerous mire, pushing many attendees into a crisis mode.
This unfortunate death was disclosed to have occurred “during this rain event” by the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office, as per a KNSD report from Saturday evening. However, the specifics about the deceased, such as their identity or the circumstances leading to their death, remain undisclosed. Officials released a statement clarifying, “As this death is still under investigation, there is no further information available at this time.”
The popular counterculture gathering in the Black Rock Desert faced closure on Saturday. This closure was a response to the adverse weather conditions in the aftermath of Hurricane Hilary.
Authorities issued a directive to the festival’s over 73,000 attendees to remain sheltered in place.
Additionally, those en route to the festival were instructed by the federal Bureau of Land Management, the custodian of the land where the festival occurs, to “turn around and head home.”
Officials shared a grim outlook on the weather, stating, “More rain is expected over the next few days, and conditions are not expected to improve enough to allow vehicles to enter the playa.”
Festival organizers had previously advised attendees to ration resources like food and water. The imposition of a ban on vehicular movement was also in place. With these restrictions, attendees, colloquially known as ‘Burners,’ had to spend their nights in tents and RVs smeared with mud.
The festival has a tradition where attendees are responsible for their sustenance and shelter until its conclusion. This year, the festival is expected to wrap up on Monday with the signature event, Exodus.
Max Spooner, an attendee spotted with a mattress on his back, shared with USA TODAY, “I think it’s just a waiting game now. Survival mode, here we go.” He elaborated that after his tent was soaked the previous night, he had to retrieve dry bedding from his car, which involved wading and slipping through the mud.
The media outlet reported a significant drop in temperature, reaching the low 50s at the festival location. Moreover, many attendees faced connectivity issues due to disrupted cell phone services.
A doctor based in Los Angeles, speaking on condition of anonymity to Insider, expressed concerns about the attendees’ health risks.
Apart from the potential threat of COVID-19, he cited possible challenges like food poisoning and other hygiene-associated ailments, especially as cleaning essentials become scarce.
He added a cautionary note, “If it rains again, which is going to prevent people from being able to use their vehicles for another three to four days, people are gonna get stranded there, and there’s gonna be a resource crunch.”
He also highlighted the impending sanitary challenge: “The port-a-potties are probably going to start overflowing, and that’s gonna mix with the mud and the rain, and it’s going to possibly spread infectious diseases.”