The rescue and recovery work is continuing after the devastating 7.8 on the Richter scale earthquake that claimed at least 2,700 lives, with many missing, and widespread damage in Nepal.
The Nepal Amateur Radio Society is providing emergency communications with their members reported to be active on HF emergency nets as well as on VHF/UHF to handle local traffic. Nepal’s first Amateur Radio repeater, set up in 2012 by the National Society for Earthquake Technology, had a dozen hams who previously engaged in simulated emergency tests.
The 9N1KS repeater 434.500 MHz in and 145.000 MHz out, is on the outskirts of Kathmandu with coverage into the Kathmandu Valley.
Satish Krishna Kharel 9N1AA reports that with help from VU2 in India and others work is continuing. Hams in India have been among the most active responders as parts of Eastern India also suffered earthquake damage.
Satish 9N1AA is using solar power in coordination with the Nepal police in Kathmandu sharing the emergency communications work with Suresh Upreti 9N1HA operating an emergency net on 20 metres on 14.205 and/or 14.215 MHz, has amateurs from around the world involved in message passing including requests for the status of friends and relatives in the disaster areas. Satish 9N1AA said information has already been provided on the status of about 80 loved ones of foreign radio amateurs and others. The 20m operational frequencies of 14.205 and 14.215 MHz have been chosen by the Nepalese stations as it appears they are clearer than higher in the band. Steps are being taken to improve the communications outside the area with Amir 4X6TT offered the facilities of Icelandic station TM4X to operate remotely as this is a low noise location with good antennas and propagation into the affected area.
Sanjeeb Panday, 9N1SP, has been operating on 21.360 MHz with Tim McFadden, KB2RLB/T6TM, a Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) member in Afghanistan. This operation followed procedures exercised with the American Military Auxiliary Radio Service ( MARS ) in 2013 and 2014 in which the emergency scenario was an earthquake in Nepal. Following news of the disaster MARS operators commenced scanning International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Global Emergency Centre of Activity frequencies for stations in Nepal. These frequencies were established as the places to pass emergency traffic in this kind of situation.
Please keep all these frequencies ± 5 kHz clear of *all* transmissions unless you are directly involved in contacts with Nepal.
With more than 17 Red Cross camps set up for affected persons and now that registration of survivors and casualties has commenced use should be made of the Red Cross or Google person finder services at;
There is no cross-border movement so far of radio equipment and radio amateurs with Satish 9N1AA specifically saying that DX hams operating in the area are only possible if they came across as part of a relief team under a government to government arrangement. It is known that amateurs are embedded in some relief teams already heading to the area and steps are being taken to ensure that their frequency usage is co-ordinated with the local response.
Additional radio equipment has been requested on the 20m nets and offers of equipment have been received from many countries to assist. Mobile network and some telephones lines were restored in the late evening along with power in some places and the International Telecommunication Union said on Monday it has sent emergency communications equipment to Nepal to help in the aftermath of the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake. This includes 35 satellite mobile phones and 10 satellite Broadband Global Area Network terminals along with solar panels and laptops to help coordinate the relief effort.
Sources: ARRL, IARU Region 3, ITU, TF4M