Big Ecuador earthquake
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake centred near the coast of Ecuador South America on April 16, the strongest in that country for decades, claimed more than 500 lives as rescuers searched for survivors. The frequency 7.060 MHz was being used as radio amateurs handle emergency traffic.
Jim Linton - VK3PC
Widespread destruction was caused with most damage to the Guayaquil and Portoviejo/Manta areas, where a state of emergency was declared in six coastal provinces. Victor Perez HC2DR of Radio Club Guayaquil was in the worst hit areas left without power or mobile phones. "It was possible to rehabilitate the Amateur Radio repeater of that sector and I programmed the radios of the fire department of Manta so that they could use it to communicate their needs."
A further report was that hams in the HC4 district have used their mobile stations or battery power, with moves to get them generators and solar panels to continue their work. Radio amateurs were at the Emergency Operations Centre of Quito. The Echolink Node HC1BG-R remained active serving as the information link from the affected area.
Specialised search and rescue teams from America and European countries were giving their support.
Relief groups and the army had moved to provide humanitarian assistance, as aftershocks as big as 6.1 on the Ritcher scale were being felt by an already traumatised community.
Meantime the earthquakes in Southern Japan have seen no major involvement by radio amateurs providing emergency communications.
-Jim Linton VK3PC, IARU Region 3 Chairman, Disaster Communications Committee
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