GWANGJU, July 17 (Yonhap) -- Organizers of the world swimming championships under way in South Korea's southwestern city of Gwangju were on high alert Wednesday as heavy rain and an approaching typhoon were feared to disrupt the competition.
Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul, is hosting the 18th FINA World Championships from July 12-28. More than 2,600 athletes from 194 countries are competing for 76 gold medals in six disciplines.
The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said Wednesday that monsoon rains accompanied by strong winds are expected to hit the southwestern region this week.
Gwangju is forecast to receive rain of 30 to 80 millimeters through Friday, while up to 150 millimeters of rain is expected to fall on some coastal areas. A notice of heavy rain has already been issued for the sub-host city of Yeosu, where open water swimming events are being held this week.
In addition, Typhoon Danas, which passed through waters to the northeast of Manila early Wednesday, is expected to affect Korea's southern coastal areas Sunday, bringing heavy rains and powerful winds, according to the weather agency.
The Gwangju Metropolitan Government and the organizing committee began to operate emergency response systems Wednesday to minimize possible damage.
The city government performed safety inspections of competition venues and public facilities jointly with the police and the military and examined emergency supplies and mobilization systems for disaster response.
Officials are concerned that they may have to cancel or suspend events such as open water swimming, water polo and high diving due to weather conditions, while indoor games like diving and swimming will not be much affected.
"The government, the organizing committee, the military and police will do their best for safety management, so that the athletes can focus on the games and citizens can enjoy the games safely," said Kim Sung-hak, director of disaster response at the Gwangju government.
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