Caravans of scouts evacuate campsite in South Korea

Caravans of scouts evacuate campsite in South Korea

Thousands of scouts being transported out of western Saemangeum Reclaimed Area as expected typhoon approaches

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ISTANBUL (AA) — Caravans of scouts began moving out of a global event in South Korea on Tuesday due to the expected arrival of typhoon Khanun.

Details from officials showed that some 36,000 young scouts and volunteers began vacating the western Saemangeum Reclaimed Area along the country's southwestern coastal region.

The typhoon is expected to make landfall in South Korea on Thursday and the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) decided to evacuate around 43,000 participants from 158 countries.

They have been attending the 25th World Scout Jamboree that began on Aug. 1, with the events scheduled to conclude the coming weekend.

"It is the first time in over 100 years history of World Scout Jamborees to face such compounded challenges, from untimely floods to an unprecedented heatwave and now a typhoon!" WOSM Secretary-General Ahmad Alhendawi said in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter..

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol is resuming office on Tuesday after a week-long summer vacation to follow up on the evacuation of foreign guests which has also triggered concern among the diplomatic community based in the capital Seoul.

According to Seoul-based Yonhap News, the scouts are being transported in around 1,022 buses to eight cities and provinces, including the capital and its neighboring Gyeonggi province.

Most of the 18,800 participants will be housed in Gyeonggi, while 4,400 of the scouts will reside in Seoul.

Before evacuation was planned, dozens of scouts fell ill due to high temperatures in a severe heat wave that hit the country this summer.

Alhendawi noted a "bumpy start with organizational challenges of services and facilities" of the global event.

However, he said the jamboree was "starting to get into full swing and encompass the true spirit and nature of Scouting."

"Putting the health and safety of all our participants first, we took the decision to relocate young people and volunteers to other locations. This is not an easy task to move over 40'000 people in one day. But if anyone can do, it's Scouts!" he said.

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