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2005 News Releases




Amateur Radio and the Indian Ocean Tidal Wave disaster

Date : 02 / 01 / 2005
Author : Michael Owen - VK3KI


Amateur Radio Operators VU4BRI/VU4NRO were on a DX radio expedition, stopping that activity to help the people, Ram, VU3DJQ in New Delhi says there is an open invitation from Port Blair administration for Indian radio operators for providing emergency communication from Port Blair. Travel and stay at your own expense. VU4RBI has left, but 5 further operators will join the team and will operate from many islands as possible.

VU2MUE told us ham radio operators left for Andaman from Mangalore, Bangalore and Hyderabad to activate ham radio stations in the tsunami hit smaller islands which are still cut-off from the mainland as well from the capital Portblair. It is expected that ham radio stations would be activated in the areas Hut Bay Island , Little Andaman etc.

VU2MUE heard TV journalist Monidipa Banerjee's voice on the National NDTV channel reporting from the Andamans during one of its evening news telecasts stating that governmental communication systems 'a total failure in Andaman & Nicobar' He heard her emphasising the need of ham radio communication system in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. It may be mentioned that no ham radio operation had been allowed by the Government of India for the last 17 years in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands until YL Bharthi, VU4RBI could get a 'special permission' to activate VU4 DXpedition.

Nets for Andaman and Nicobar Islands -
7090 7095 14160 14190 14191 14193 14200KHz

One VU2 Amateur who was feared missing in the after-wake of the tsunami was Binu VU2NGB. Happily VU2NGB is ok and fine in Vypen Island , was due to "QSY" to VK land
on the 7th of this month.

In India the public have asked ham radio operators to find missing persons. Contacting VU radio amateurs on the Internet using the amateur radio operators then pass the message to Andaman Island on 14.191MHz USB voice or 7.090MHz LSB voice using short wave radio transceivers. Some hams are also using Morse code and others have connected their home computer to their ham radio transmitter.

Gopal Madhavan had an eyeball with VU2RBI Bharathi at Chennai airport, on her arrival from Andamans. She was very, very tired, not unexpectedly but happy that she and her team were able to assist at a time of need.

There was also another group of hams led by VU2LIC at the airport, and they are expected to leave for the Andamans also a group from Gujarat is also in Chennai led by VU2CPV and they will also be leaving with relief materials.

India VU2NRO at Hyderabad is on 14.160 to receive QSPs for Portblair.
India - 7050kHz

Radio amateur Burhan 6O0AP in Galkayo , Somalia has confirmed the death toll. Somalia Tsunami death toll is 200. Missing persons in Somalia are not included. Mr Mohammed Ghedi, Somalia 's Prime Minister appealed to foreign countries, international organisations and well wishers to come to the aid of Somalia . In Hafun, Puntland, North East Somalia (population of 6,000) a third of buildings were destroyed. The surrounding areas are under water. Sam Voron in Somalia says the situation in many areas is unknown and the United Nations is undertaking survey and assistance efforts.

3.655MHz LSB (main night time Somalia HAM emergency listening frequency)

7.055MHz LSB (main daytime Somalia HAM emergency listening frequency)
or 10.125MHz USB.

To help foreign hams contact Somalia hams use-
14.255MHz USB (main listening frequency for overseas contacts with Somalia )
or 18.155MHz USB or 21.255MHz USB.

Manjurul Haque, S21AM is the General Secretary, Bangladesh Amateur Radio League he reports "here in Bangladesh we have been operating since the Tsunami first hit on the 26 December 2004 on the Ham Radio emergency networks on 14.190MHz and 7.060MHz. When needed we relay emergency messages.

Sri Lanka 's Prime Minister had no contact with the outside world until Amateur Radio operators set up a ham radio inside the Prime Minister's official house. The Prime Minister's satellite phone failed and the only link in his disaster operations centre was the Short Wave Amateur Radio, reports Sri Lankan ham radio operator Victor,
call sign 4S7VK.

" As President of the Amateur Radio Society in Sri Lanka it was wonderful even at a tragic time to link up South of Sri Lanka with the Prime Minister who comes from the South and that is where his people are. So we went in and established this HF link. My friends 4S7KE, AK and DZ went in a 4 wheel drive approaching the costal town of Hambantota from the interior as the main road along the cost was badly battered and full of debris and was impassable. I knew my propagation thanks to George Jacobs and I could be 100% sure that we could keep a link going on 3 and 7 MHz. So when all the cellular and all other means failed Short Wave stood bold and proud. It is so simple and we didn't even have a TS 50 or such a small mobile HF set, but took an Icom IC7400, the best radio we have and two 12v batteries and dipoles some food and water and filled the rest of the vehicle with food for the displaced. I stood by in Colombo at the PM's to run the link in and coordinate. We are trying to expand our coverage but our resources are limited´┐Ż

EMERGENCY NET, Sri Lanka - 7060kHz

Ham Radio operator Charlie K4VUD/HS0ZCW in Thailand was interviewed by CNN. He has been relaying emergency Tsunami messages to India using the 20 metre band.

EMERGENCY NET Thailand - 7075kHz news 24x7 EchoLink node 46601 hs1wfk-l

Amateurs in Indonesia have established emergency communications between Medan in Sumatra and Banda Aceh, the area destroyed by the Tsunami on the northern tip of Sumatra . They are using the 80 metre 3.815MHz for long distance communications and the 2 metre 144MHz band for short distance communications.

Amateur Radio operators YB6ZZ and YB6ZES are operating an earthquake and Tsunami emergency network on the Indonesian amateur radio emergency frequencies of 7.055MHz and 21.300MHz in the 15 metre band. Salvation Army Salvation Army teams have been at the forefront of offering aid and relief to the people. In addition, the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) is helping people locate loved ones missing in the region.

When there are no other forms of communication, SATERN is a HAM radio team that helps families and emergency workers find each other. In Chicago , National director of SATERN Major Pat McPherson reported that by listening, some SATERN members have been successful in establishing contact with the missing members.


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