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2010 News Releases

 

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Radio hams flee Haiti after convoy fired on

Date : 18 / 01 / 2010
Author : Jim Linton - VK3PC

Eight radio amateurs from Radio Club Dominicano (RCD) who were operating under the callsign HI8RCD/HH have had to abort their operations after the convoy they were travelling in was fired on. EB9GF, who is integrated in the Spanish Red Cross contingent, was able to contact the colleagues from the Radio Club Dominicano (RCD). The RCD has two VHF repeaters in use for Red Cross, one in the Dominican republic and a new repeater active near the border with Haiti.

RCD initially reported that their team crossed the Haitian border at 10:50 hours Haitian time arriving at the Dominican Embassy in Haiti at 14:29 hours when they started installing and testing their equipment. Within a few hours though, reports via the RCD Facebook page confirmed by a long telephone conversation between Hugo Ramn HI8VRS and Ramon Sanyoyo XE1KK of IARU R2 reported that the HI8RCD team of eight amateurs, were back in the border town of Jimani (Dominican Republic). Their convoy, which included other non related Dominicans, was assaulted and one person reported dead. The Radio Amateurs were uninjured but decided to leave the capital for safety and return to the border unescorted. They report the situation as extremely unsafe and scary. The repeaters they have installed remain in service linking the Haitian and Dominican capitals, and are being used by the Red Cross and Civil Defense since there is no other way to communicate. The station at the Embassy in Haiti could not be activated though.
To confirm, all members of the HCD team are safe and have returned to Jimanji in the Dominican Republic.

In other reports, John Henault HH6JH who is engaged in Missionary work with homeless children in Port au Prince continues to make contacts on 20m using power from a neighbour's generator and very pleased that amateur radio enabled him to let his friends in the USA know he was alive. Another radio amateur in the country, Pierre Petry HH2/HB9AMO who works for the UN food program is also safe. However nothing is known at this stage of about another ten hams in Haiti.

This report issued on the IARU R1 website is a compliation of sources that includes contributions by Ismael EA4FSI, Cesar HR2P and Jim VK3PC.



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