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.