As typhoon Khanun approaches South Korea tens of thousands of juvenile scouts will have to evacuate the world Scout Jamboree. As Tropical Storm Khanun comes, officials said Monday that South Korea will evacuate tens of thousands of cadets from a coastal jamboree by bus.
Kim Sung-ho, vice minister of South Korea’s Ministry of the Interior and Safety, said that beginning Tuesday morning, more than 1,000 vehicles will be used to transport 36,000 scouts, primarily adolescents, from the World Scout Jamboree in the southwestern county of Buan.
He stated that most 158 international recruiters will be accommodated in Seoul and the surrounding area. Officials attempted to reserve rooms at government training centers, educational facilities, and hotels. Kim estimated it would take at least six hours to evacuate the scouts from the campsite, which organizers said would no longer be used after the scouts’ departure.
Officials at Camp Humphreys, a significant U.S. military base 70 kilometers (45 miles) south of Seoul, could not confirm reports that tens of thousands of scouts from Sweden, Norway, and Denmark would be transferred to its facilities.
The base houses hundreds of American cadets relocated over the weekend due to heat concerns as South Korea endures one of its hottest summers.
The announcement of the evacuations followed a call from the World Organization of the Scout Movement to South Korea to swiftly remove the scouts from the path of the storm and “provide all necessary resources and support for participants during their stay and until they return to their home countries.”
The government of South Korea waited to specify where the scouts would be lodging. David Venn, global director of communications for the World Organization of the Scout Movement, stated that the organization was still awaiting detailed plans from government officials.
An official from Gyeonggi Province, the largest province surrounding Seoul in South Korea, stated that preparations were being made for the prospective relocation of 15,000 scouts to the region. According to the unnamed official, one of the potential venues is the Korea International Exhibition Center, a significant convention facility in Goyang. The official did not wish to be identified because the plans needed to be finalized.
Khanun has followed an unusual, meandering course around Japan’s southwestern islands for over a week, dumping torrential rain, knocking out electricity to thousands of homes, and disrupting flights and train services. Monday afternoon, it had sustained winds of 108 kilometers per hour (67 miles per hour) with higher gusts, and the Japan Meteorological Agency predicted that it would maintain this intensity as it brushed Japan’s main island of Kyushu this week.
The weather agency of South Korea predicted that typhoon Khanun would make landfall in South Korea on Thursday morning with winds of up to 118 to 154 kilometers per hour (73 to 95 miles per hour). The typhoon could affect large portions of the country’s south, including Buan, as early as Wednesday, according to the agency.
The plans to evacuate the scouts were announced hours after the office of President Yoon Suk Yeol reported that he had called for “contingency” plans, including the relocation of the scouts to hotels and other facilities in the broader capital region.
As of Monday afternoon, the storm was located approximately 160 kilometers (99 miles) east of Amami city on Japan’s southern main island of Kyushu and was leisurely moving northward. It warned residents in affected areas to be on the lookout for mudslides, strong winds, and turbulent seas.
According to the country’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency, the storm has caused one fatality and 70 injuries on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa. Due to the forecast of severe weather in the region, the West Japan Railway Co. stated that the Shinkansen “bullet” train service could be suspended from Wednesday night to Thursday morning.
The South Korean Safety Ministry has instructed local officials to prepare for the closure of flood-prone coastal areas, hiking trails, river parks, underpass passages, and other vulnerable sectors from Wednesday to Friday due to the storm.
Because of the high temperatures, thousands of British and American scouts have already been forced to abandon the site created by reclaiming land from the sea. The British scouts were relocated to hotels in Seoul, while the American scouts were transferred to Camp Humphreys.
Since the festival began on Wednesday, hundreds of participants have been treated for heat-related symptoms. Before the event started, critics raised concerns about bringing many young people to a vast, treeless area without summer heat protection.
On Monday evening, Geir Olav Kaase, the commander of the 700-person Norwegian contingent, stated that Norwegian scouts had already begun leaving the campsite to “avoid any chaos that may arise in the event of a joint evacuation.” Kasse said the evacuations were conducted in “close cooperation” with the Danish contingent, but he did not specify if the Danes had also begun to depart.
“We do everything possible to ensure that the scouts are secure and healthy and that the transfer goes off without a hitch. Kaase said, “We help one another and keep our spirits up.”
The Swedish news agency TT reported that approximately 1,500 Swedish scouts would relocate to Camp Humphreys alongside Norwegian and Danish scouts.
South Korea’s minister of gender equality and family, Kim Hyun-sook, stated that officials are attempting to organize new cultural events and activities for the scouts before their departure, including a potential K-pop concert at a Seoul soccer stadium on Friday to coincide with the closing ceremony.
When asked whether the cadets’ departure from Buan should be viewed as an early end to the festival, Kim replied, “We don’t see it that way.” “We are creating new off-site programs with regional governments, so the jamboree could be said to be expanding.”
Earlier on Monday, organizers scrambled to devise plans to evacuate the scouts before the storm’s arrival, but they did not commit to forsaking the campsite entirely.
Choi Chang-hang, secretary-general of the festival’s coordinating committee, stated that more than 340 evacuation sites, such as community centers and gymnasiums, have been secured in regions close to Buan.
Approximately 40,000 Scouts attended the festival. The most significant national contingent consisted of roughly 4,500 individuals from the United Kingdom, while some 1,000 persons were from the United States.
Khanun is classified as a typhoon by South Korea, a tropical cyclone with winds exceeding 61 kilometers per hour (38 miles per hour). The weather agency of South Korea anticipates that Khanun will diminish to a storm within the next five days.