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2009 News Releases




Ham radio supports disasters

Date : 01 / 10 / 2009
Author : Jim Linton - VK3PC

A severe tropical storm in The Phillipines and earthquakes in Indonesia have seen radio amateurs providing emergency communications and other relief and recovery assistance.

Philippines Amateur Radio Association (PARA) President, Dr Joey Panganiban DU1BP (pictured right) reports that a tropical storm named "Ondoy" hit the Philippines five days ago creating a tragic calamity with hams swinging into action to help. Joey DU1BP said, "We have mobilized our amateur radio clubs for the relief operations. The frequencies of 7.045 MHz have been used for general announcements while 2-metres FM is for our community operations."

The disaster has affected more than two million people and the death toll is officially at least 1,100. Joey DU1BP said, "All amateur and civic radio clubs are now on operation in Metro Manila under the guidance of the National Telecommunications Commission and PARA." He said the PARA Secretariat has been designated to receive donations and soliciting donations both in kind and cash for the victims. Joe DU1BP said, "What the evacuees need is food that are ready to eat (those without much preparation) such as canned goods, noodles, rice, bread, coffee, milk, sugar, salt and water." "They also need medical attention and medications needed for cough, colds, fever, diarrhea and vitamins. These items will be repacked and given direct to the recipients, using community officials as contact points."

Meantime a powerful earthquake rocked western Indonesia on Wednesday, trapping thousands under collapsed buildings and triggering landslides. At least 75 people were killed on Sumatra island after the 7.6 on the Richter scale earthquake strike. In a brief message just hours after that disaster from the Organisasi Amatir Radio Indonesia (ORARI), received by IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee Chairman, Jim Linton VK3PC, it has been confirmed that hams are involved there too. Wisnu Widjaja W1SNU/YB0AZ reports "We are active on the field now to support the emergency Communications in West & South Sumatera, Indonesia. Now, we are using 2-meters and 40-meter band."

More information can be expected in coming days. However no reports so far of amateur radio emergency communications in the Pacific as a tsunami hit Samoa leaving trail of death and destruction.


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