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2016 News Releases

 

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Hams help on disaster response

Date : 27 / 10 / 2016
Author : Jim Linton - VK3PC

Typhoon Haima which hit the north of the Philippines has left a path of debris, destroyed infrastructure, damaged homes (46,000) and businesses, affected agriculture and fishing, plus resulted in flooding and landslides. This is how the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) described the latest of this year’s 12 storms to hit the archipelago.

The Philippine Amateur Radio Association (PARA) was ready for Haima, having activated its HERO net on 7.110 MHz for the earlier Typhoon Sharika on Luzon Island. That Category 3 Typhoon moved westward and weakened quickly. Roberto Vicencio DU1VHY reports that HERO was ready as Super Typhoon Haima smashed into the northern Philippines with winds gusting to over 300 kph and forcing thousands to flee. The frequency of 7.110 MHz was used as Typhoon Sharika when its wind and rainfall made its presence known in the area of Luzon Island.

No sooner had TC Sharika passed through the area of Luzon Island, were eyes on Typhoon Haima
Roberto DU1VHY reports that the HERO net with 130 stations gave weather, power and flooding reports. Other ham groups like the United Methodist Amateur Radio Club (UMARC) sent members led by DV1YIN, to travel north to the province of Isabela.

The OCHA reported that the United Methodist Communication and the Philippine Amateur Radio Association provided solar generator sets to local radio amateurs in Isabela. Its latest report it said: “Considering the limited access to other communication channels, the use of ham radio is being used to support affected communities to communicate with their loved ones and provide feedback to their evolving needs.’ The team of DV1YIN, DW1YMJ and DV1XWK took more than 10 hours by road to reach Santiago City, Isabela, and immediately via HF radio contact advised that power had been cut and phone coverage was intermittent.

Most areas in Cagayan had limited access to communication, with electricity expected to take three weeks to be restored. The army, police, the Red Cross and other humanitarian agencies are also in the area. The communication task was big, with affected families with essential ready access information from the local government units and humanitarian agencies.

The Far East Broadcasting Company continues to air information it has to affected communities and provide updates on the ongoing response in the Isabela, Cagayan, Aurora
Provinces.


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