The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) has asked organizers in South Korea to cut the World Scout Jamboree short in light of a historic heat wave hitting the country in a statement released on Friday.
Since the Jamboree began on Wednesday over 200 attendees have needed treatment for heat related illnesses. U.K. scouts were pulled from the event by the U.K. Scout Association and American scouts are expected to be moved by Sunday.
In the statement the WOSM wrote, it had asked the host country to consider “alternative options” to bring the event to a close earlier than initially planned, as well as providing aid to participants as they waited to return to their home countries.
The event, which saw over 40,000 scouts from over 150 countries in attendance, was met with temperatures of 35℃, or 95℉ on it’s first day leading to 108 attendees needing medical attention. Another 138 cases would occur on Thursday.
Both contingents will be moving from the current site of the Jamboree, Buan, to the country’s capital in Seoul. U.K. attendees will be staying at hotels, while the U.S. scouts are expected to relocate to a military base near the city.
The U.K. members made up over 4,500 of the attendees, being the largest contingent in attendance with more than 10% of the total attendance.
South Korea’s Minister of the Interior and Safety Lee Sang-min told officials on Wednesday to explore measures to protect participants, such as modifying outdoor facilities and providing more medical resources. South Korean President Yoon Suek Yool promised to provide air conditioned buses and refrigerator trucks to provide water to the site.
The Jamboree’s organizing committee’s chairman, Choi Chang-haeng, has said the event was safe to continue, linking the high number of cases on the first day to a K-pop performance at the opening ceremony. Choi said the performance had left the teenage attendees exhausted after “releasing their energy.”
This summer has marked as the hottest one in South Korea in four years, with the country’s hot weather warning reaching its highest level. According to South Korea’s Ministry of the Interior and Safety, at least 19 people have already died due to heat in the country since May 20.
The location of the event was a cause of concern before the Jamboree even began, with many noting the area lacked proper cover from the heat. Choi has said a similar situation could have occurred regardless of the location of the Jamboree.
South Korea hasn’t been the only place experiencing hardships because of the heat. This June has been noted as the hottest worldwide in recorded history, and recent heat waves across Europe are projected to break several records.
Share This Post On
Leave a comment
You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in