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South Korea: 1,000 buses evacuate scouts from disaster-hit World Jamboree


More than 1,000 buses have begun ferrying scouts at an international event in South Korea out of a campsite due to an incoming tropical storm.

Helicopters and police cars were escorting the buses from the disaster-hit jamboree.


The threat of the storm comes just days after hundreds at the camp fell ill in temperatures of 35C (95F).


South Korea's president has cut short his holiday to help manage the fallout from the gathering.


Attended by more than 40,000 young people from 155 countries, the World Scout Jamboree in Saemangeum has been marred by illness and criticism of its organisation and facilities from the start.


"This is the first time in more than 100 years of World Scout Jamborees that we have had to face such compounded challenges," Ahmad Alhendawi of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, said in a statement.


The massive event had been "very unlucky with the unprecedented heatwave" and the incoming storm, he said.

The bus convoy began moving the scouts from Saemangeum at 09:00 local time (01:00 BST) on Tuesday to inland locations, including Seoul and its surrounding province of Gyeonggi.


Scout groups from the UK, Singapore and the US had left the event early - with the British group citing poor sanitation and food quality among their reasons for leaving.

Most of the remaining scouts will be ferried from the camp to 128 accommodation sites across eight provinces and cities around Seoul, interior minister Lee Sang-min on Tuesday morning.

He said the government would ensure participants could be "safe and comfortable" at their new lodgings, which include university halls and hotels.

He vowed the Jamboree would continue and said he hoped the scouts could "finish their schedules with a happy heart".


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