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2006 News Releases




Hams help out following mud slide

Date : 25 / 02 / 2006
Author : Chris Jones - VK2ZDD

Radio amateurs have helped coordinate rescue operations after a devastating mud slide on the Philippine island of Leyte buried an entire village. More than 1,800 people are thought to have died when the village of Guinsaugon, on the southern part of Leyte, was engulfed by mud on 17 February following a week of torrential rain and a small earthquake.

The International Radio Emergency Support Coalition (IRESC) has been supporting the relief effort by providing communication links between the disaster area and the International Red Cross. The IRESC specialises in connecting up traditional ham radio systems - HF transceivers and VHF/UHF repeaters - with Voice over Internet Protocol technology over the Echolink network. In this way, communications support can be offered to a disaster zone from anywhere in the world that has an Internet connection. The Echolink net set up for the Leyte disaster went on air within hours of the mud slide. Philippine amateurs have been using it to pass on lists of missing people and survivors generated by local evacuation centres. Other messages being passed from the stricken area have included requests for food, water, mats, clothing, stretchers, medical kits and digging tools.

IRESC has been forwarding all of these requests directly to the International Red Cross.

Thanks to the RSGB


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