Floods in Argentina
Record flash floods have killed several dozen people and destroyed thousands of homes in the Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, that suffered its heaviest April rainfall since records began in 1906. On Saturday there was heavy traffic on the 40 metre band, coordinating communications between the Radioclub La Plata and other areas who were sending food, clothing and other items to the flooded area.
Jim Linton - VK3PC
Jorge Sierra LU1AS of Buenos Aires reports that relief efforts are being coordinated by radio clubs that have played an important role during the disaster. Net Control Stations were local radio clubs who told of road closures, the location of the collection centres in the area and planned transportation and reception.
The province's capital of La Plata was badly hit. The frequencies used are 7070 and 7120 MHz, with activity by Emergenciaslu Amateur (Amateur Radio Emergency Service of Argentina) plus VHF and UHF repeaters maintained by the Radioclub La Plata LU8DZE. Communication was helped by the use of the Internet, email and SMS which made it easier to locate someone or make it known that radio support was available.
Safe drinking water and power supplies were the immediate concerns for the affected people, with the media reporting half of the homes in La Plata were under water and the damage bill was estimated at $5 billion. The storms drenched Buenos Aires on Monday and Tuesday last week then torrential rain fell on La Plata during a two-hour period one day later, knocking out phone and power lines. The flooding turned roadways into raging rivers.
Jorge LU1AS expressed thanks for keeping the emergency channels clear and being otherwise very helpful during the unfortunate event. Argentina has declared three days of national mourning.
(Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Regional 3 Disaster Communications Committee)
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