Strong winds blowing spectators, media out of their seats

All advised to seek shelter for safety amidst 37km/h gusts

Strong winds blowing spectators, media out of their seats
A man shields his face while towing a child against gusty winds at the Olympic Park at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea. Gusts forced organizers to shut down the common areas in Olympic Park asking spectators to seek shelter in buildings. © Julio Cortez/The Associated Press

The Associated Press

Officials are asking spectators to evacuate the Olympic Park in the coastal city of Gangneung and take shelter indoors because of strong winds.

An announcement in Korean and English advises fans to go inside for safety Wednesday afternoon. Workers are disassembling tents around the park.

Volunteers are also using bullhorns to tell fans to go inside. Many were queued up to go inside the Samsung building near the hockey arena.

Winds are blowing steadily around 37 kilometres per hour with stiffer gusts rattling and shaking the giant tent anchored with metal beams in Gangneung.

A media work tent was closed because of the gusting winds ahead of a women's hockey game between Japan and Korea.

Four people, described to CBC's Stephanie Jenzer as "workforce," were hospitalized from injuries as a result of the wind gusts. All four were eventually released from hospital, though one required stitches first.

The PyeongChang Organizing Committee released a statement saying that all events in the Gangneung area would be postponed until further notice.

"Venue Media Centres that are in temporary structures are also closed until the high winds subside, with media continuing to work from the press tribune areas," the statement continued. "Precautionary measures are being taken as safety remains a paramount priority for PyeongChang 2018."

For the third time in four days, an alpine skiing event was postponed. The women's slalom, featuring American star Mikaela Shiffrin, will now take place on Friday.

The women's individual biathlon event was also pushed back one day. It will now take place on Thursday.

With files from CBC Sports