‘Mudpocalypse’ Hits Burning Man, 73,000 Trapped in ‘Toxic’ Lake Bed in Nevada Desert

Food and fuel are running low for the tens of thousands of attendees (and tech bros) trapped at the Burning Man festival located in one of the harshest environments on earth (high desert, on a dried-up alkaline lake bed) in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. The situation deteriorated early Saturday when a rainstorm drenched the lake bed, transforming the area into a ‘mudpocalypse.’

Since early Saturday, all entry and exit points of the Burning Man festival remained closed due to the thick, alkaline mud. As of 0900 ET Sunday, event organizers said, “The gate and airport in and out of Black Rock City remain closed. Ingress and egress are halted until further notice. No driving is permitted except emergency vehicles.”

Organisers continued to advise the 73,000 attendees to “conserve food and water, and shelter in a warm space.”

The Independent confirmed local officials had reported at least one death but have not released details on the suspected cause of death. A major concern is that the toxic alkali dust that makes up the lake bed is now three inches of mud, and if attendees aren’t wearing socks and closed shoes, it can cause chemical burns called “Playa Foot.”

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