October 13/14 is a busy weekend in IARU Region 1 with two major exercises and at least one emergency happening.
In Oman Younis A41MA reports that as Tropical Storm Luban heads towards Oman and Yemen the National Committee of Civil Defence has deployed resources to the South of the country ready to deal with the flooding predicted to hit the area. An initial four amateur radio volunteers are present to help provide links to any isolated locations. This operation is initially on VHF but HF is ready to be used if required. Storms in this area generally go under-reported but are just as severe as other disasters with the previous two tropical cyclones in the Arabian Sea claiming nearly 300 lives.
In Spain their ‘Field Day 2018’ exercise takes place today ( 13th October ) with a focus on Net Control activities. HF is expected to be in use on 7110, 7145, 7175 and 14315kHz. Winlink and VHF/DMR will also be used. Full details are available at https://emergencias.ure.es/field-day-2018/ .
Finally Radio Amateurs in Romania are participating in an European Community Exercise in their country. ModEx 2018 will call for the use of 3710 and 7130kHz along with VHF/DMR, full information is at https://www.radioamator.ro/info.php?id=795 .
All exercises and actual emergencies should be expected to identify as ’emergency exercise’ or ‘exercise’ on the air. When these events are watched by representatives from our Administrations it is important that Amateur Radio is seen positively so please allow the operators room to operate.
In preparation for the effects of Hurricane Michael on Cuba, the Cuban Federation of Radio Amateurs are activating their emergency nets on the 40 and 80 meter bands.
Frequencies in use until further notice will be
40 meters primary 7110 kHz
40 meters secondary 7120 kHz
80 meters primary 3740 kHz
80 meters secondary 3720 kHz
Operation is foreseen to be on SSB voice and digital modes as required and the co-operation of other radio amateurs is requested in keeping these frequencies QRM free.
A sequence of earthquakes and a tsunami in the Indonesian areas of Donggala and Palu on 28th September have left hundreds of people dead and many more injured. Dani Halim, YB2TJV, as the new IARU R3 Disaster Communication Coordinator reports, Amateur Radio Operators in Indonesia immediately activated to respond to the disaster unfolding in Central Sulawesi Province.
Following the magnitude 7.7 earthquake at 17:02 Local Time (11:02 am UTC), electricity, cellular and all communication facilities in the area are cut off. Communications have been established from the Luwuk Disaster Management Agency located 700 km from the epicenter of the Earthquake with YD8MII (Net Control) and YC8OBM to get information on landslides occurring in the area and that communications routes were blocked. Many photos and videos now circulating on social media, show the enormity of the earthquake.
The Indonesian National Society ORARI immediately established an Emergency Net on 7.110 MHz and also activated the Lapan-Orari IO-86 satellite as a back up.
Communications have now been established with YB8NT and YB8PR in Palu who are using mobile stations.Due to QRM on 7.110MHz though, a second net has been set up on 7,065 MHz.
ORARI asks that they are given room to use 7.110 MHz and 7.065 MHz since this earthquake is could be worse than the one in Lombok in the end of August please allow them a QRM free space to complete their work.
Hurricane ‘Lane’ is affecting Hawaii with heavy rainfall of nearly 1 meter forecast along with high tides caused by the storm surge. Combined, these effects are already causing significant flooding in the area. The following frequencies have been advised in use so far;
7080kHz – National Weather Service, Honolulu
7088kHz – Hawaii ARES
14.265MHz – SATERN ( Salvation Army Emergency Radio Network )
Together with other frequencies being used for Winlink formal message handling.
As this event starts, Karl YV5YA reports that activities in Venezuela on 7088kHz are coming to a close. The earthquake in the country caused the expected problems of cellular communication and power system failures but their networks worked well on HF and VHF including Echolink.
Finally in India, Jayu VU2JAU reports that activities in the Kerala region are now moving from rescue to recovery. Over 150 radio amateurs have been involved in 24/7 operations since the flooding began in that area with one team reporting over 8000 messages handled. It was reported that good use was made of social media channels in passing messages to families and taking details of missing persons for the authorities.
The remaining operations are focusing on reuniting friends and family who have been separated between evacuation centres and passing any other information required to the authorities.
Please help emergency communicators by keeping the frequencies in use QRM free.