China earthquake report to GAREC-08
The emergency communications provided by China’s radio amateurs in the aftermath of the devastating magnitude 8 Sichuan earthquake has now ended, although some remain on standby for rapid re-activation if needed.
Jim Linton - VK3PC
IARU Region 3 Chinese Radio Sports Association (CRSA) disaster communication liaison Fan Bin BA1RB reports that several hundred hams took part to help the disaster recovery and relief efforts.
It began almost immediately after the huge ‘quake on the 12th of May and continued through until the 13th of June. A number of radio amateurs travelled into the epicentre area, a difficult task due to earthquake damaged roads, to set up communications.
In the early days long distance telephone lines were either cut or congested and this is where amateur radio HF links were used, including one in the provincial city of Chengdu to give the Red Cross a link to Beijing.
VHF and UHF repeaters were in heavy use, both those which survived the quake and others pressed into service to provide much needed local communications including front line rescue and recovery activity.
Amateur radio was used to provide coordinating communications for cars that were used to ferry supplies and transport the wounded.
Amateur radio operators across the country made donations of equipment and supplies and the CRSA thanks them and all international radio societies and individuals for the support given.
The CRSA has produced a slide presentation overview of the role emergency communications provided during the disaster, and what it proposes for the future.
This was presented by the IARU Region 3 Chairman, Michael Owen VK3KI,
to the 4th Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference (26 & 27 June) in Friedrichshafen, Germany.
GAREC-08 organisers and the conference delegates were most pleased to see the CRSA presentation and learn more about the role played by amateur radio after the Sichuan earthquake.
- Jim Linton VK3PC
Chairman, IARU Region 3 Emergency Communications Committee.
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