UK Scouts are being moved to hotels in Seoul after an international event in South Korea was hit by extreme heat.

Hundreds have fallen ill at the outdoor World Scout Jamboree, which is attended by more than 40,000 young people from around the world, amid 35C (95F) heat.

The British group of 4,500, the largest in attendance, is moving from a camp site at Saemangeum to Seoul, the Scout Association confirmed.

The US and Singaporean teams are also pulling their members out of the event.

South Korea’s government said it was sending 60 more medics and 700 service workers to maintain the toilets and showers, with many countries staying at the site for the next week.

The jamboree, described as the world’s largest youth camp, gathers Scouts from around the world every four years, each time in a different country.

Most of those attending are aged between 14 and 18, and 155 countries are represented in South Korea.

This is the first jamboree since the pandemic and is due to run until 12 August.

Coaches of British teenagers have started arriving back in Seoul – about 120 miles (197km) from the campsite – and they will spend the next week in hotels.

The UK Scout Association said young people and adult volunteers had begun “settling into their accommodation” and the Jamboree experience would continue in the city before returning to the UK on 13 August as planned.

One of the UK team told BBC’s Seoul correspondent Jean Mackenzie the decision to pull out was not based just on the extreme heat but was also down to the facilities and food.

They described the campsite toilets as a “health risk” and said children’s dietary needs were not being met.

The UK team monitored conditions for a number of days, they said, giving the organisers the opportunity to improve them, but had lost confidence they could keep everyone safe.

Many of the parents the BBC has spoken to have said their children spent years preparing to attend the event, often raising thousands of pounds to do so.

Medics treating a person on a stretcherImage source, Reuters
Image caption,

Hundreds have been treated for heat-related illnesses

Thunderstorms are forecast for the region in which it is taking place, while temperatures will feel hotter than 40C due to high humidity, according to AccuWeather.

The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), the largest international Scouting organisation, said it had asked the Korean Scout Association, which is hosting the event, to consider ending early.

The movement said that the host “decided to go ahead with the event” and assured participants that it was doing “everything possible to address the issues caused by the heatwave”.

UK Scouts, the country’s largest scouting organisation, said its volunteers and others had worked to give members “enough food and water… shelter from the unusually hot weather… and toilets and washing facilities appropriate for an event of this scale.”

The UK and US teams have the money and resources to relocate thousands of people at short notice but there are plenty of countries at the event which do not.
Load More Related Articles
Load More By RelationsTimes
Load More In World

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

E-Paper 15th of April 2024