South Korea has kicked into high gear, mobilizing over 1,000 vehicles to evacuate a staggering 36,000 scouts from the World Scout Jamboree site in the southwestern county of Buan.
With Tropical Storm Khanun closing in, authorities are leaving no stone unturned to ensure the safety of these mostly teenage participants hailing from 158 countries.
The evacuation plan involves moving the scouts to venues in the capital city, Seoul, and its surrounding metropolitan area.
The government is actively working to secure spaces in government training centers, education facilities, and hotels.
However, this massive operation is not without its challenges, as it is estimated to take more than six hours to complete.
Norwegian scouts began departing the campground on Monday evening, according to Geir Olav Kaase, head of the 700-member Norwegian contingent, to "avoid any chaos that may arise in the event of a joint evacuation."
Kasse said that the evacuations were being carried out in "close cooperation" with the Danish contingent, although he did not explain whether the Danes had begun to evacuate as well.
We do all we can to ensure that the scouts are safe and well, and that the transfer goes as smoothly as possible. We help each other and keep our spirits up.- Geir Olav Kaase, head of the 700-member Norwegian contingent
South Korea to evacuate scout jamboree as typhoon looms
The urgency of the evacuation comes on the heels of a call from the World Organization of the Scout Movement, urging South Korea to act swiftly to protect the scouts from the impending storm.
The storm's potentially devastating impact has raised concerns, prompting international bodies to collaborate and ensure the safety of the young participants.
Tropical Storm Khanun has taken an unpredictable path, meandering around Japan's southwestern islands, leaving destruction in its wake.
As it gains strength, South Korea and other affected regions are bracing for potentially damaging winds, heavy rain, and other hazards associated with the storm.
The South Korean minister for gender equality and family, Kim Hyun-sook, has said that preparations are being made for the scouts to participate in a variety of cultural events and activities before to their departure, including a potential K-pop performance at a Seoul soccer stadium on Friday to coincide with the closing ceremony.
We don’t see it that way. We are creating new programs with regional governments away from the campsite, so it could be said the jamboree is widening.- South Korean minister for gender equality and family, Kim Hyun-sook
With the safety and well-being of the scouts at the forefront, officials are working tirelessly to secure suitable accommodations and safe havens for them.
The resilience of these young participants, along with the cooperation of international organizations and governments, underscores the importance of collective efforts to mitigate the impact of natural disasters.
Despite the challenges posed by the evacuation, authorities are striving to maintain the spirit of the World Scout Jamboree.
Plans for new cultural events and activities, including a potential K-pop concert, are in the works to ensure that the scouts' experience remains memorable and meaningful, even in the face of adversity.
As Tropical Storm Khanun approaches, South Korea's swift and comprehensive response serves as a testament to the nation's commitment to ensuring the safety of its people and international participants.
The jamboree's evacuation efforts highlight the power of unity and cooperation in the face of nature's unpredictability.