Burning Man festival, the annual counterculture event in the desert of northern Nevada, has been closed on opening day amid rare heavy rains.
Thousands of burners are stuck in Reno, Nevada, after the rainstorm delayed the start of Burning Man festival.
Organizers said the gate to the temporary desert city would be closed until at least midday on Tuesday, August 25, as the Black Rock desert playa turned to mud.
Festival goers are being advised to stay in nearby Reno overnight because law enforcement officers are turning cars back from flooded roads.Police were turning people around at the entrance to avoid stuck vehicles.
Burning Man festival has been closed on opening day amid rare heavy rains
Many of the would-be attendees began setting up camp at nearby Pyramid Lake, local media reported.
Hundreds of people gathered outside a shop on August 25 to buy camping permits, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.
Burning Man festival, which attracts about 50,000 people each year, is due to run through September 1.
In 2013, a record 68,000 people attended Burning Man festival, which ends with the burning of a four-storey effigy.
Ten people are confirmed dead and several others are missing after torrential rain and heavy floods hit eastern Bulgaria, officials say.
Floodwaters in the Black Sea port city of Varna surged up to 3.2ft.
Ten people are confirmed dead and several others are missing after torrential rain and heavy floods hit eastern Bulgaria (photo AP)
Many residents had to be rescued as cars were swept away. Hundreds have been left without electricity or food.
There have been hailstorms and heavy rain in several parts of Bulgaria in recent days. Forecasts say the extreme weather is set to continue.
Forecasters said that the equivalent of a month’s worth of rain fell in the regions of Varna and Burgas over the last 24 hours.
“The tragedy is enormous. I am here on a street in the suburb of Aspruhovo. The street is not here, the houses are not here, there are cars on top of each other,” Varna mayor Ivan Portnih was quoted by Reuters as saying.
Fire-fighters in the town of Kilifarevo in central Bulgaria rescued 11 people from the tops of their houses, police said.
Last month nearby Serbia and Bosnia were hit by the worst flooding since modern records began.
Some 600 people have been evacuated in the German city of Dresden as Central Europe floodwater continues to threaten parts of southern Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic.
The level of the River Elbe in the historic German city is not expected to peak until Thursday morning.
Emergency workers have been shoring up a dyke under threat from high water in the Austrian city of Krems.
At least 12 people have died and two are missing as a result of the floods across the three countries.
Seven deaths were recorded in the Czech Republic and three in Germany, while two people were reported dead and two missing in Austria, according to a European Commission update early on Tuesday evening.
Parts of Germany have not seen such severe flooding in centuries. However, in the Czech Republic, the water level has stabilized in the capital Prague, where there had been fears of a repeat of disasters in 2002 and 1997.
Some 600 people have been evacuated in Dresden as floodwater continues to threaten parts of southern Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic
River levels rose after sudden heavy rain following a very wet spring, which had left the ground saturated and unable to absorb the extra water.
Six hundred people had to leave their homes in Dresden and electricity was turned off in some parts of the city, a city spokeswoman told the German news agency dpa.
In another eastern city, Halle, streets were under water on Wednesday morning. According to German news magazine Spiegel, it is the highest water level in the city in four centuries.
Meanwhile, the floods were receding in the south German city of Passau. People could be seen sweeping up muck from their streets.
In Krems, the Austrian authorities were making plans to evacuate villagers as a local dyke looked at risk of collapsing under the swollen Danube.
Thousands of people left their homes in the Czech Republic in recent days as floodwater threatened to overwhelm flood barriers.
In the low-lying industrial city of Usti nad Labem, the River Elbe was spilling over the 10 m-high (33 ft-high) metal flood barriers.
The peak there is expected some time on Wednesday.
The main rail link connecting Prague and Berlin in Germany has been underwater, with trains being diverted.
Southern and eastern German cities are on high alert as heavy floodwaters swell rivers including the Elbe.
In Halle, an appeal has gone out to residents to help reinforce flood defenses while Dresden is preparing for water levels 5 m higher than normal.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised 100 million euros ($130 million) in emergency aid for flood-hit areas.
Meanwhile, river levels in Prague have begun to fall, say the Czech authorities, as floodwaters move north.
Overnight, flood barriers on the River Vltava in the south of the country were raised, releasing a torrent of water.
However, Prague’s flood defenses appear to have held, and the risk of severe flooding in the city centre seems to be receding.
The city of Regensburg has declared a state of emergency, while in the state of Saxony – which includes Dresden – officials were warning of higher water levels than during the record floods of 2002.
The bodies of two people, a man and a woman, were found separately around the southern town of Guenzburg. At least seven people have died in the Czech Republic and two in Austria after days of heavy rain.
Hungary has also declared a state of emergency. Floodwaters on the Danube are expected to peak there on Thursday.
Southern and eastern German cities are on high alert as heavy floodwaters swell rivers including the Elbe
Germany has drafted in the army to help with flood defences.
In the Bavarian town of Passau, floodwaters reached a level not seen since the 16th Century, but have now begun to recede.
Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the worst affected regions on Tuesday, flying over Bavaria, Saxony and Thuringia by helicopter.
She promised 100 million euros in immediate aid, of which 50 million euros will go to Bavaria.
In the Czech Republic, a nationwide state of emergency is still in force. Water levels are expected to peak in the north later on Tuesday.
Around 3,000 people have been forced to leave their homes across the west of the country.
As a precaution, Prague’s metro system and central sewage treatment plant were closed, metal flood defenses were erected and sandbags built up along the banks of the Vltava.
The Charles Bridge – normally packed with tourists – was shut and tigers at the city’s zoo were tranquilized and moved out of an enclosure thought to be at risk.
A system of nine dams called the Vltava Cascade was found to be dangerously full, and the floodgates were opened at 20:00 local time on Monday night.
North of Prague, further downstream, the River Elbe is rising to levels approaching those seen in 2002, the last time Europe experienced similar floods.
Seventeen people were killed in the Czech Republic in August 2002 and the cost of the damage across the continent was estimated at 20 billion euros ($26 billion).
Main roads in many areas of central Europe have been closed and rail services cut. Thousands of homes are without power.
In Austria, the meteorological service said two months of rain had fallen in just two days.
Venice may be known as the Floating City of love, but romance was cast aside today as gondolas were swapped for wellington boots and swimwear.
High tides and heavy rain flooded Venice’s dry streets, leaving tourist hotspots virtually deserted.
Tourists chose to wade through the waters in boots, with one group donning swimwear to sit at a table in the iconic submerged St. Mark’s Square.
One hardy couple even decided to go for a quick swim.
Others had less enjoyable tasks, with some visitors being forced to wade through nearly waist-high waters carrying suitcases on their shoulders.
Heavy rains and seas whipped up by strong winds brought the lagoon city’s high tide mark to its sixth-highest level since records began being kept 150 years ago in 1872.
The water levels rose to critical levels overnight.
Venice may be known as the Floating City of love, but romance was cast aside today as gondolas were swapped for wellington boots and swimwear
It was reported that 70% of central Venice was under water today as the high tide mark reached 59.06inches.
Those who decided to take a break from the flooded streets were captured in wellington boots standing in water in coffee shops.
Makeshift wooden walkways had to be used to cross areas of St. Mark’s square, with transportation proving difficult for residents.
Italian news reports said the same weather system causing chaos in Venice was wreaking havoc elsewhere in north and central Italy, with some 200 people evacuated from their homes in hard-hit Tuscany.
Flooding is common in the city at this time of year. Moveable barriers that would rise from the sea bed to protect Venice from high tides have been in the works for years but will not be operational before 2014.