Amateur Radio responds to flooding in Kerala, India


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.

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Indonesia – Lombok Earthquake

As Radio Amateurs in Indonesia respond for the second time to an Earthquake in the Lombok area, please take care to avoid causing QRM to their activities on 7.110MHz and emergency activities on satellite IO-86.

The second powerful earthquake inthe area killed at least 98 people and seriously injured more than 200 others. The electricity supply in the area is disrupted and the ORARI of West Nusa Tenggara Region led by YB9KA and YB9GV have taken action to cover areas with no cellular coverage including taking battery supplies to affected repeaters. At the moment four repeaters are operating in the disaster area with ORARI HQ asking their Bali Island Region (the closest area) to provide further repeater support for use by emergency communications in Lombok.

ORARI HQ has also issued an official request to the nearest region, to help with both logistics and personnel to Lombok, and designating a National Frequency for the Lombok Earthquake at 7.110 MHz for HF, VHF on 145.500 MHz Simplex and 147.000 MHz Duplex, and also to activate ORARI Satellite LAPAN IO-86, to assist with communication.

The Central Java Region of the Indonesian Search And Rescue Council has sent a group of rescuers and vehicles, lead by YB2QC the Operation and Technical Head of ORARI to join the National Rescue Operation in Lombok and ORARI Jakarta is also arranging the delivery of logistical assistance to Lombok.

(Summary of information from Dani YB2TJV )

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Welfare Traffic to Dominica/Puerto Rico

The following update has been received from Jeff 9Y4J via Cesar Pio Santos HR2P the IARU Region 2 Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator concerning the relief efforts in Dominica, with specific reference to Telecommunications.

1. An emergency operating centre was activated using the call sign J73EOC, with batteries and a generator installed

2. The NEOC is being manned by radio amateurs, some of whom arrived from neighboring countries.

3. Limited mobile service is available in the capital of Roseau with free SMS messaging and WiFi being provided

4. Troops from Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, The UK, and France have arrived and are bringing some order back to the country after widespread looting.

5 The USA have started activating their citizens

6 The CEWN (Caribbean Emergency and Weather net) webmaster, Franz/J69DS has established a link from his server to the EOC in Roseau in order to on pass the more than 2,000 messages on hand.

7 The CEWN continues to maintain a watch on 7188 kHz and 3815 kHz daily.

8 Major infrastructural damage was done, thus limiting access to many areas on the island.

Clear frequencies for the CEWN would be appreciated.

Meanwhile in Puerto Rico, radio amateurs have been operating brisk and busy ad hoc health-and-welfare traffic nets on 7.175 and 14.270 MHz. Only outgoing messages are being handled at the moment with incoming enquiries being directed to the American Red Cross ‘safe and well’ web pages. 2m is in heavy use supporting the restoration of utilities and law enforcement. Again clear frequencies for those listed and the Salvation Army SATERN net on 14.265MHz would be appreciated.

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Caribbean and Mexico disasters – Update 3

The 7.1 earthquake in Mexico that downed many buildings and killed more than 250, plus Hurricane Maria that swept through a number of Caribbean nations, have kept emergency communications frequencies busy with coordination and traffic.

Networks not in the affected areas, particularly the Colombia Amateur Radio League (LCRA), and in the USA, are seeking information about relatives in the Caribbean islands.

Reports are continuing from Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 storm, which hit Puerto Rico, Dominica and Turks and Caicos.

LCRA is using 7.117 MHz for SSB and 7.085 MHz for digital modes, as well as EchoLinkCOL_LCRA conference.

The Amateur Radio League of Cali’s HK5VD is in support, under the guidance of Juan Manuel Yanguas HK5AKN, the LCRA Emergency Coordinator.

The Columbian national VHF repeater system is also involved as the last delivery point trying to reunite families displaced by the hurricane and its aftermath.

The ARRL has suspended normal use of its Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station W1AW, to assist in handling outbound health-and-welfare traffic from Puerto Rico.

The Salvation Army SATERN frequency of 14.265 MHz and similar activities are happening elsewhere as desperate people are trying all means to make contact with their loved ones.

Meanwhile Cesar Pio Santos HR2P, EMCOR IARU R2, has reported that radio amateurs are providing rescue groups and authorities with coordination help, and communications.

In Mexico the station XE2A is in control sending some radio amateurs to Morelos to help there with a radio base station to be installed for emergency traffic and coordination.

Typical of the volunteer work in Mexico is Jesus XE2JTC and Octavio XE2JUM, who have travelled with others in 4-wheel-drive vehicles carrying hydraulic equipment and units to support breathing.

Authorities in all affected places say the recovery work is continuing and will do so for a long time.

– Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee

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