Fans at Olympic Park advised to take shelter due to strong winds

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea -- Officials were asking spectators to evacuate the Olympic Park in the coastal city of Gangneung and take shelter indoors because of sharp, gusting winds.

An announcement in Korean and English advised fans to go inside for safety Wednesday afternoon and eventually a police presence helped clear the area. Workers were disassembling tents around the park.

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

Sustained winds of 23 mph (37 kph) with stronger gusts howled through the Olympic Park near the coast, knocking over tents, signs and even small refrigerators. Stiffer gusts were 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.

Normal activity resumed several hours later, before speedskating and hockey events were scheduled to begin.

Wind has been a problem throughout the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The women's 15-kilometer individual biathlon was postponed due to strong winds hitting the Alpensia Biathlon Center.

Forecasts were predicting gusts of more than 15 mph Wednesday night, making it difficult for competitors to shoot their rifles. The event was moved to Thursday, starting ahead of the men's individual biathlon.

The women's slalom was also canceled Wednesday, and the men's downhill and women's giant slalom have also had to be postponed.

"All of them are anxious to race, absolutely, but they all want to race in fair conditions. That's the main thing," U.S. women's Alpine coach Paul Kristofic said after the slalom was called off. "To have unstable wind like that for one racer and not for the other, it creates not the best sporting event."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.