Widespread earthquake and tsunami damage
It has been 24 hours since the worst earthquake for 140 years hit off north-eastern Sendai registering 8.9 on the Richter scale and triggering a tsunami. JARL Secretary Ken Yamamoto JA1CJP reports that the disaster appears to have resulted in more than 1,300 people killed or missing. JARL Regional HQ station JA7RL is now involved in emergency communication to support rescue and disaster relief coordination.
Jim Linton - VK3PC
Ken JA1CJP said they are using 7 MHz SSB, 144 MHz SSB/FM and 430 MHz SSB/FM. The frequency 7043 controlled by JR3QHQ the Osaka branch manager of JARL. He is gathering incident information on radio and forwarding this information on the internet. The channel 7075 is operated by JL3YSP in Wakayama occasionally. While 7030 kHz is the JARL emergency communication frequency in their bandplan is in use by JA7RL (JARL regional HQ station).
Japan has 1.3 million hams and is not in need of emergency communication help externally, although this has been kindly offered. Ken JA1CJP said basically the efforts being made are purely voluntary. No organised emergency communication has been arranged.
Television coverage includes the heartbreaking stories of the quake hitting and the tsunami that swept away coastal towns and felt throughout the Pacific. Occurring late afternoon on Friday, disrupting plans for travel, it was the worst in Japan for 140 years.
Caught up in the drama was IARU Regional 3 Chairman Michael Owen VK3KI who had earlier attended an IARU conference. He's safe and well, and hopeful of being on a flight home.
- Jim Linton, VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.
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