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German authorities cancel music festival on final day

Fresh storm warnings have forced officials to pull the plug on Germany's popular "Rock am Ring" music festival. Lightning strikes earlier on at the festival injured scores of people.

Despite briefly reopening on Saturday night, Germany's popular open-air music festival "Rock am Ring" was finally called off on Sunday.

Local authorities withdrew the festival's permit since more storms had been forecast for the area later on Sunday, said a spokeswoman.

Organizers accepted the decision "out of responsibility for the welfare" of the event's 90,000 visitors.

Festival officials tweeted about the thunderstorm warnings, urging festival-goers to immediately seek shelter in their cars when the storms arrived in the afternoon.

Around 80 people were reportedly injured

at the site near Mendig, in the western state of Palatinate, when lightning and heavy rainfall hit the area late on Friday. The German Red Cross said 72 people were hospitalized.

The festival briefly resumed

on Saturday when Californian rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers took the stage.

Fans on Sunday posted pictures of the muck and crowds on Sunday as they were being sent home.

"That's it! Clean-up," tweeted one user.

"Hats off to the #rar2016 campers: a solidary, level-headed, ordered-disordered exodus," tweeted another user with a picture

Elsewhere in Germany, continuing downpours and severe storms in northern Bavaria led the district of Weilheim-Schongau to declare a state of emergency on Sunday. Another four people were injured in Bavaria when lightning struck their house.

The city of Bonn set up a crisis team after local rivers overflowed - leaving basements flooded and streets partially submerged.

The recent floods

in southern Germany have claimed the lives of seven people and caused hundreds of millions of euros in damage.

rs/rc (AP, dpa)

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