By Jack Kim
SEOUL (Reuters) – A K-pop music concert scheduled for Sunday at a World Scout Jamboree in South Korea was postponed due to heat safety concerns as the host pressed on with the meet despite extreme temperatures that led three national contingents to pull out.
Minister of Interior and Safety Lee Sang-min said the jamboree organisers “accepted the concerns over safety-related incidents” if the show was held on Sunday night. Temperatures at the jamboree site have hovered above 33 Celsius (91.4F).
Hundreds of participants have fallen ill due to the searing heat, prompting complaints from parents over the safety of their children. On Saturday, 132 additional people were treated for heat-related conditions, the jamboree organisers said.
South Korean government and jamboree officials said again the safety of the more than 40,000 participants from 155 countries was their top priority, with more water trucks, air-conditioned spaces, medics and sanitation workers being sent to the site.
But British, American and Singapore contingents continued to leave the jamboree on the Saemangeum reclaimed land project on the west coast on Sunday, moving to other locations in the country, including hotels in capital city Seoul.
Lee told a media briefing that two alternate sites are being reviewed for the K-pop concert, which is now rescheduled for the eve of the closing of the scouting meet on Aug. 12.
The lack of shaded areas and inadequate water supply, food service and sanitation facilities prompted civic groups, parents and the World Organization of the Scout Movement to recommend on Saturday that the event be wrapped up early.
But the jamboree host and the government of South Korea said they had consulted with participating scouting contingents and decided the jamboree should continue.
Jacob Murray, director of world events for the World Organization of the Scout Movement, said at the media briefing there had been “increased improvement” in site conditions after additional resources were made available.
(Reporting by Jack Kim; Editing by Tom Hogue)