British scouts have moved into hotels in South Korean capital Seoul after a “punishingly hot” heatwave at the World Jamboree sparked health concerns for the thousands of children.
Other countries have been told to evacuate to the giant campsite in South Korea by officials, with warnings a typhoon is on course to hit the area later in the week.
It will add to the weather misery for the 40,000 participants, after temperatures in some parts of the country topped 38C (100.4F) last week, with at least 600 people at the event having been treated for heat-related ailments, according to officials.
In an update, the British contingent said all its participants were now safely in hotels in Seoul.
“The UK Embassy and the Mayor of Seoul are also supporting the UK team with developing programme activities, so our young people still get the most from the rest of their Jamboree experience in South Korea,” the statement said.
“Other international contingents have also announced they will be leaving the site too.
“We know leaving the Jamboree site may be a disappointment for some, but we will continue the Jamboree experience in Seoul. Young people will travel home as originally planned from 13 August.
“While we have been on site at the Jamboree, the UK volunteer team has worked extremely hard with the organisers, for our youth members and adult volunteers to have enough food and water to sustain them, shelter from the unusually hot weather, and toilets and washing facilities appropriate for an event of this scale.”
Matt Hyde, the CEO of The Scouting Association, said there were concerns about a number of issues bought on by the “punishingly hot” heat.
“We were particularly concerned about sanitation and the cleanliness of the toilets… from a health and safety point of view,” he said in a video update.
Mr Hyde added: “In addition to that, we were worried about food and those with dietary requirements… and the amount of food that was available.”
He also said he was concerned about the heat relief measures in place, and how the British contingent were “disappointed” with the event’s organisers.
New sets of activities have been organised, including bus tours, water games and cultural exchanges.
Organisers of the World Scout Jamboree previously said they were modifying the schedule depending on the temperature.
“Despite the heat and the difficulties and the challenges that they are facing, only 8% reported that they were very unsatisfied with the experience so far,” Jacob Murray, the director for World Events at the Scouts, told reporters.
“We are grateful to the Korean government and provincial government for providing additional resources.”