Evacuation of Thousands of Global Scouts from South Korea’s Coast Amid Approaching Tropical Storm

by Madison Thomas

In anticipation of an upcoming tropical storm, South Korea has initiated the evacuation process for numerous international Scouts residing along its coastline. Buses have been deployed to transport thousands of Scouts from their coastal campsite to safer inland locations on Tuesday. The storm is expected to bring heavy rainfall and strong winds to the peninsula within the next few days.

Over 1,000 vehicles are currently in operation to transfer approximately 37,000 Scouts, predominantly adolescents, who were participating in the World Scout Jamboree that commenced the previous week in Buan, a county situated on South Korea’s southwestern coast. The majority of these Scouts will find accommodation in Seoul and its metropolitan area. The authorities have secured facilities such as university dormitories, corporate training centers, government buildings, and hotels for this purpose.

Tropical Storm Khanun has lingered around the southwestern islands of Japan for over a week, causing substantial downpours, power outages, and property damage. As of early Tuesday, the storm was located 350 kilometers (217 miles) south of Kagoshima, a city on the southern tip of Japan’s Kyushu island. With wind speeds of 108 kph (67 mph) and gusts reaching 144 kph (89 mph), the storm was moving slowly northward, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

South Korea’s weather agency has classified the storm as a typhoon with winds reaching 126 kph (78 mph) and predicts a slight increase in intensity before it makes landfall on Thursday morning. The storm is anticipated to bring strong winds and heavy precipitation to South Korea between Wednesday and Friday.

The safety ministry of South Korea has directed local authorities to make preparations for the closure of coastal areas, hiking trails, river parks, and other susceptible locations in order to prevent flooding.

The World Scout Jamboree, attended by Scouts from 158 nations, commenced last Wednesday on a reclaimed land campsite by the sea. During one of South Korea’s hottest summers in years, numerous participants required medical attention for heat-related issues. Concerns had been raised about the safety of housing such a large number of young individuals in a sprawling, treeless area exposed to the summer heat. Organizers have confirmed that the campsite will not be utilized for any subsequent events after the Scouts’ departure.

To facilitate the evacuation process, more than 270 police cars and four helicopters have been dispatched to escort the departing buses. The evacuation is projected to last approximately six hours or more.

Out of the 13,500 Scouts, over 9,000 will be lodged in various venues across Gyeonggi province, the largest province encircling Seoul. An additional 3,100 Scouts will stay in Seoul, while around 3,200 will be relocated to Incheon, a neighboring city. Roughly 9,000 Scouts will be transported to 25 different venues spanning North and South Chungcheong provinces in the central region of the country.

Lee Sang-min, South Korea’s Minister of the Interior and Safety, confirmed that local governments are assessing the hygiene conditions of the lodging venues and restrooms. Moreover, they are implementing medical measures to guarantee the well-being and comfort of the Scouts upon their arrival. Law enforcement will oversee the accommodations, while officials from the Korea Food and Drug Administration will meticulously evaluate the quality, quantity, and safety of meals.

The decision to evacuate was made following a request from the World Organization of the Scout Movement, urging South Korea to swiftly relocate the Scouts out of the storm’s path and offer necessary support until they can return to their home countries.

The inclement weather conditions have already led to the departure of thousands of British and American Scouts from the site. British Scouts, totaling around 4,500, have been relocated to hotels in Seoul, while approximately 1,000 American Scouts were transported to Camp Humphreys, a significant U.S. military base located 70 kilometers (45 miles) south of Seoul.

Ahmad Alhendawi, the secretary-general of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, acknowledged the unprecedented challenges faced, emphasizing the extraordinary efforts made by South Korea’s government to mobilize all available resources for the relocation process. Despite the disappointing alteration of plans due to adverse weather, Alhendawi expressed appreciation for the collaboration and response.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Evacuation

Why is South Korea evacuating the Scouts from its coast?

South Korea is evacuating the Scouts from its coast due to the approaching tropical storm, which is forecasted to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the region.

How many Scouts are being evacuated and where will they be relocated?

More than 37,000 Scouts, mostly teenagers, are being evacuated from the coastal campsite. They will be relocated to safer inland venues, including university dormitories, government and corporate training centers, and hotels.

What is the status of the tropical storm?

Tropical Storm Khanun has been moving around Japan’s southwestern islands, causing heavy rain and power outages. As of now, it’s located south of Kagoshima, Japan, with strong winds and slow northward movement.

How is South Korea preparing for the storm’s impact?

South Korea’s safety ministry has instructed local officials to shut down vulnerable areas like coastal regions, hiking trails, and river parks to prevent flooding. Various safety measures are being implemented to protect the evacuated Scouts.

How is the evacuation process being carried out?

Buses, police cars, and helicopters are being used to evacuate the Scouts. The evacuation process is expected to take several hours, and authorities are ensuring the safety and comfort of the Scouts in their new accommodations.

How has the World Scout Jamboree been affected?

The Jamboree, attended by Scouts from 158 countries, had to be altered due to the storm. Thousands of British and American Scouts have already left the site for safer locations in Seoul and Camp Humphreys.

Who initiated the evacuation and why?

The World Organization of the Scout Movement called on South Korea to evacuate the Scouts and provide necessary resources. This decision was made to ensure the safety and well-being of the participants in the face of adverse weather conditions.

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WeatherWatcher123 August 8, 2023 - 1:51 pm

stormy weather causin’ scout shuffle! SK’s on it, movin’ em to safer spots. smart move, keep em outta trouble!

ScoutParent456 August 8, 2023 - 4:03 pm

Props to SK for protectin’ those young explorers. Storm’s a bummer, but better safe than soggy! Hope they’re havin’ fun indoors.

InfoGeek77 August 9, 2023 - 2:19 am

Khanun’s makin’ waves, SK’s gettin’ those scouts outta dodge. Jamboree turned into an adventure of its own, stay safe, everyone!

ScoutLover94 August 9, 2023 - 4:42 am

whoa, so like South Korea’s moving all those scouts cuz storm’s comin’? that’s cray cray, hope they all safe tho

AdventureSeeker22 August 9, 2023 - 7:48 am

omg, poor scouts caught in a wild storm! SK’s doin’ evacs, hope they got good places to crash. safety first, y’all!


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