China earthquake disaster - Update
The emergency communications response by radio amateurs in China is continuing during the rescue and recovery phase of this major disaster that has resulted in a great loss of life.
Jim Linton - VK3PC
IARU R3 Disaster Communications Committee member, Fan Bin BA1RB said, "We have more ham radio operators ready to go for disaster relief, we will do our best as radio amateur operators for the big disaster." The earthquake struck in the afternoon local time on 12 May and the immediate response by hams included the IARU radio society CRSA issuing a worldwide alert that a number of HF frequencies were in use for disaster relief. These are 7050, 7060 and 14270. Fan Bin BA1RB reports soon after the earthquake hit the local UHF/VHF repeaters in Chengdu area were back to operation to provide communications.
It took three days for the public telecommunications network to be restored in most but the remote areas which remain without communications. The Sichuan radio sports association amateur radio station BY8AA was able to on air in HF band handling many valuable front line emergency messages and had an hourly sked with the CRSA headquarters station BY1PK in Bejing. Bin Fan BA1RB reports that many radio amateurs in the earthquake epicentre and nearby areas have put up simple antennas from the damaged buildings.
Hams from Beijing, Nanjing, Wuhan and other cities went to Sichuan taking their own requirement. The disaster has hit mountainous terrain that requires the use of VHF/UHF and HF radio.
- Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman, IARU R3 Emergency Communications Committee.
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