Super Typhoon threatens the Philippines
More widespread devastation is likely in areas of the Philippines that were hit late last year by Super Typhoon Haiyan, as a new typhoon called Hagupit is over the Pacific Ocean headed for mostly poor communities.
Jim Linton - VK3PC
On November 8, 2013,at least 6,300 people were killed in the Philippines, with the loss of crops and many homes. The Philippines Amateur Radio Association (PARA) has activated its Ham Emergency Radio Operations (HERO) network in advance of Super Typhoon Hagupit.
PARA Chief Operating Officer Thelma Pascua said that the HERO network is well-practised and prepared to meet the emergency communication needs caused by the severe weather event. "We urge amateur radio operators to monitor but keep clear 7.095 MHz +/- for only emergency traffic, "Thelma said.
Weather forecasters said the typhoon is already generating wind gusts of 240 kilometres an hour, and predict it to intensify making landfall on the
eastern islands. A high alert has been issued and thousands of families told to evacuate. The HERO network on 7.095 MHz has been involved with situation reports and other activities. Additional ham equipment run by HERO has been set up at the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Central Office in Quezon City Metro Manilla.
Regional NTC telecoms offices are also monitoring the HERO network for the latest on the ground information, as well as the normal assigned government frequencies. PARA is preparing for a visit by Pope Francis to the worst affected areas of last year?s Typhoon Haiyan to inspect progress and talk to local people about that disaster. The visit due on January 15-19 is to include the City of Tacloban, described as being the worst hit area.
PARA and its HERO Network provided emergency communications for many weeks as a result of that disaster.
- Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.
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