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Chaos Rain in the Desert: Tens of Thousands Are Stranded in Burning Man

Chaos Rain in the Desert: Tens of Thousands Are Stranded in Burning Man

On Saturday, the organizers announced the suspension of entry and exit until further notice. Only rescue vehicles and other emergency vehicles are allowed to drive on the streets. “Do not go to BlackRock City. Entry to the city is closed for the rest of the event,” said all those who still wanted to travel for the closing ceremony of the festival. “If you are in the BRC, please hunker down and stay safe,” said the organizers via Twitter (X).

On the extensive festival grounds, visitors known as Burners were also advised not to use bicycles. “Even walking was dangerous,” says the local Reno Gazette, “with the thick, sticky mud sticking to his shoes and everything he touched.” According to the Guardian, nothing works anymore, for example when thousands of portable toilets are emptied. According to the online portal SFGate, the “very limited” access to the mobile network also contributed to the fact that some apparently just wanted to leave Black Rock City as soon as possible.

Imago/USA Today Network/Trevor Hughes

After the rains turned the desert into mud, the roads at the festival site were closed

Rain is expected again on Sunday

The festival program itself also stopped on Saturday. Today, Sunday, the National Weather Service predicted rain and temperatures that are much lower than average for this time of year. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the break came as the festival prepares for its main event, which will see the burning of a wooden structure dubbed “The Man.” The nine-day festival traditionally lasts until the first Monday in September.

Burning Man Festival in Nevada

Reuters/Maxar Technologies

According to media reports, there are more than 70,000 people at the festival site

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, this isn’t the first weather-related disruption: Ten years ago, “weather paralyzed a burning man when sudden rainstorms and hailstorms covered the desert floor with inches of water.”

Hurricane Hillary impacts and roadblocks

But this year’s edition was held “under extraordinary circumstances” from the start, according to the Guardian, referring to the effects left by Hurricane Hillary in advance, but also the access roads that were closed when environmentalists arrived. As a result, thousands of visitors tried to get rid of their tickets even before the festival started.

But other media outlets have drawn comparisons to the 2017 Burning Man Festival, where a number of visitors were stranded without food and accommodation. Background: After the Burning Man event, which has been taking place since 1986, has moved from a beach in San Francisco to the desert, participants are expected to be self-sufficient, meaning to bring the water, food, and shelter they need to survive. complete need to survive.

Finally, per The Guardian, this year’s Burning Man festival also reawakened memories of the “unfortunate Woodstock 94”, made “muddy” by torrential rain.

Severe weather

Although individual extremes cannot be directly attributed to a specific cause, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it is clear that extreme weather events such as floods, storms and heat are becoming more frequent and more intense as a result of the climate crisis. That means: rains and storms are getting heavier, heat waves are getting hotter, drought is getting drier.

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