Ham teams help cyclone-hit India

In the aftermath of powerful Cyclone Phailin teams of radio amateurs are working there round the clock.

The Cyclone came ashore at Odisha in the Bay of Bengal flooding thousands of homes and forcing half a million people to leave early to seek to shelter in one of India’s biggest evacuations.

Jayu S. Bhide VU2JAU asks that the frequency of 7145 kHz be kept clear during the disaster. In a QSO with them he has determined the team includes Dilip VU2DPI, Mithilesh VU3BHI and Sameer VU2AOR.

India had issued a red alert as a massive cyclone bore down on the east coast, an area known for disasters. “It is raining heavily,” said Jayu VU2JAU, “but so far no casualty was recorded. Earlier they had six swept into the water. The rescue work is in progress and not affected by rains.”

The Cyclone has impacted a 150-kilometre stretch of coastline. Relief efforts were under way, with free food being served in shelters. Many mud homes and farms were destroyed, and uprooted trees blocked roads. The windy and wet conditions remain some areas.

During Paradwip Cyclone in 1999 a government report put the death toll at 8,243 with 445,000 livestock lost. It took years for crop yields to recover.

(Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee).

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