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.
On August 21, 2018, at 21:31:40 UTC, an earthquake of 6.9 Richter, on the coasts of Venezuela was reported.
Karl Hleftschar, YV5YA, National Director of the National Emergency Network of the Radio Club Venezolano, reported that the YV5RNE Network is active on the 7088 kHz frequency.
Jose Rafael Gomez, YV1GEC, who lives in the Isla de Margarita, Venezuela; He commented that the earthquake felt strong, and until now, there has been no interruption of the electric power, or interruption of the gas service.
Roberto Rey, HK3CW, President of La Liga Colombiana de Radio Amadores, reported that in Colombia, “he felt even in Bogota … very prolonged.”
It is requested to keep the frequency 7088 kHz, and close free of interference.
( Information from Cesar Pio Santos, HR2P EMCOR IARU R2)
Jayu VU2JAU reports that Radio Amateurs in the Indian state of Kerala are actively responding to this disaster. Flooding caused by monsoon rains and overflowing dams has currently killed over 300 people and left over 300,000 evacuated to relief camps.
They are using HF and VHF for both local and wide area communication between the Senior District Adminstrators and many of their local offices. Stations are working 24 hours a day on 7110kHz and 145.5MHz as well as a local 2m repeater at Idukki. The stations are involved in passing messages assisting the administration in running the evacuation, such as organising food, water, medicines etc..
The preparedness of Amateur Radio has been demonstrated to the State Disaster Management Authorities and Local Adminstrations before and is now being put to good use.
Many radio amateurs in the area ( too many callsigns to list here ) are already active and many more are ready to assist. Stations outside India are asked to help by avoiding QRM to their operations.