MANILA: Changes have been made to the competition schedule for at least eight different sports at the Subic cluster of the 30th SEA Games, organisers announced on Monday (Dec 2), as Typhoon Kammuri looks set to hit the island of Luzon on Tuesday.
In a press release issued on Monday evening, Games organisation committee PHISGOC said that these changes were due to “weather conditions”.
The sports affected are beach volleyball, surfing, modern pentathlon, triathlon/dualthlon, sailing/windsurfing, pencak silat, muay as well as canoe/kayak/traditional boat race.
All sailing and windsurfing races between Dec 2 to Dec 4 have been cancelled, said organisers, as well as surfing events originally slated to be held on Dec 3.
According to a 5pm bulletin by Philippines’ state weather bureau PAGASA, the southern eyeball of Kammuri, known locally as Typhoon Tisoy, is now bringing “intense rainfall and violent winds” over Northern Samar.
“Frequent to continuous heavy to intense rains” are forecast over Metro Manila as well as central Luzon from morning to evening on Dec 3, PAGASA said.
The SEA Games events are held in three clusters on the island of Luzon, namely the Philippines’ capital Manila, Clark and Subic.
Officials in the Manila region are "ready", organisers said, adding that there was no talk of cancelling the Games.
"Everything is set," Ramon Suzara, COO of PHISGOC, told reporters on Monday. "For contingency, all venues, all competition managers, technical delegates are ready."
Officials said that each sport is overseen by managers and they would make the call on any possible cancellations or rescheduling.
"The proper timing of when to postpone them (events) is decided by the technical delegate or the one that is in charge of the sport," said Mr Celso Dayrit, SEA Games Executive Committee chairman.
As part of the contingency plan "in place a long time ago", organisers have told venues to dismantle temporary structures like tents for officials, security and catering or outdoor branding over fears they could be ripped away by the strong winds.
Organisers did not elaborate on the broader contingency plans or the decision making process, but cited the example of how an indoor event could be impacted.
"For example, basketball or volleyball, normally if there are typhoons, which has been done, the competition continues if necessary but without spectators," Suzara said.
The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 storms and typhoons each year.
The country's deadliest cyclone on record was Super Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 7,300 people dead or missing in 2013.