Hurricane Gonzalo

October 15th, 2014

The Hurricane Watch Net has been activated for Hurricane Gonzalo currently? at sea in the Caribbean and expected to reach the British and US Virgin Islands.

The net is using 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz. Please keep those frequencies? clear.

It passed near Antigua as a tropical storm, tearing roofs from houses and? knocking down trees before further strengthening and is now classified as? a hurricane.

- Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.

Communication outages filled by Indian hams

October 14th, 2014

When the powerful Cyclone Hudhud swept into the Bay of Bengal coastal areas of India disaster authorities called on radio amateurs to help out.

National Coordinator for Disaster Communication, Jayu Bhide VU2JAU said,

“In Odissa there are six hams working hard to maintain the communication covering the state. The effect of Hudhud is now reduced and few deaths have been reported.”

The media claimed that at least six deaths had occurred.

That was good news for Odissa because locals feared the bad weather could be a repeat of the very severe storm Phailin in 2013.

Before Hudhud with winds up to 200 km/h made landfall damaging buildings, power systems and the loss of communication in many areas, thousands of people
were evacuated to shelters.

While the worst of strong winds and heavy rain is over, the cyclone can still cause flash flooding and further damage. A full assessment must wait until the storm moves completely on.

Jayu VU2JAU said that active from the Bhuvaneshwar area are Preeti VU3UFX, Rajesh VU3PLP and Samir VU2AOR.

In the Sambalpur area are Dilip VU2DPI who is control of a network of Shantanu VU2SIC and Pawan VU2PGU.

These have been on air using 7140 MHz and have kept their stations open 24 hours a day.

In the Andhra coastal area the total communication is handled by the National Institute of Amateur Radio, and is now under control.

Jayu VU2JAU from the IARU member Amateur Radio Society of India (ARSI), is monitoring emergency traffic from his home QTH in Gwalior.

- Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.

IARU Region 1 Conference, Varna-Albena, Bulgaria

September 22nd, 2014

Below is a message presented by Mr Encho Gospodino, on behalf of European Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, dealing with International Co-Operation, Humanitarian Air and Crisis response

Dear IARU Conference participants,
Dear radio messengers in times of trouble and hope
Friends, ladies and gentlemen,
It is my pleasure and privilege to address your General Conference. The timing for your gathering could not be more indicative for the world we live in and the challenges we all face today.

The lives of millions of people is impacted by troubling events: conflicts in Africa and the Middle East (and sadly, in Europe); natural disasters all over the world with all the un-predictabilities of the mother Nature and the responsibilities of the human beings for the Climate Change; human waves of migrants and refugees moving from one place to another, and assorted diseases often trailing the disasters and conflicts. In short, this is a world, which does not stop to surprise us every morning when we open the TV screen or a newspaper.

At the same time, the world has never been better connected and wired. Today’s communications are a real miracle once considered a fantasy coming from the novels of Arthur Clarke or Ray Bradbury. Never before, we had this privilege to transmit or exchange information with such accuracy, speed and scope of distribution. And never before so many
people from all corners of the world and all layers of the society had access to this information. The arrival of internet really made our planet a Global village and ever since our live changed forever in the way we deal with information. Politics, diplomacy, journalism, technology, science, research, banking, literally all changed overnight with this powerful instrument.

However, there are moments in life when a good, stable, reliable and independent information tool is the only one we can use to save lives. And this is the one we call simply the RADIO. Imagine a major natural disaster, which knocks down all modern information tools in the affected area: with no electricity, no internet, no telephone and fax connections, not even the old telex machines. No trains and ships moving, no roads to use or airports functioning. Nothing. We know a tragedy has happened, we know many are dead, and even more still alive, but trapped and helpless. And no one can help them as nobody knows what has happened. Because there is no information.

Luckily, there is a last resort: the radio amateurs; the people who are the eyes and the ears of the world in time when all other information channels are silent. “Amateurs” is actually not the right word in this case: these are professional communicators who are listening to the heartbeat of the planet and registering the emotional vibrations of people who may be in danger. In short, you are the last technical miracle, which is independent, reliable information channel, which can transmit an important piece of news from any place in the world, any time, by anyone who knows how to operate this wonderful creature, called radio.

Your advantage is that you are independent. A well-trained radioman with good equipment and ever-charged batteries can be a fantastic link between two villages, two countries or two continents. When organized in a Union, you are a communication superpower in time of total electronic darkness. But the most important part of your equipment is the people you have; the Bravehearts of men and women listening to people who may be in danger and may need help; the professional lifesavers called strangely amateurs, who nevertheless act as volunteers when and where they are needed. In your history, you have many examples of lives being saved because some of your members caught a signal from a village, a region or un-accessible place that someone needs help. We need your skills and services because we will have more and more disasters in the future. The dry statistics reveal troubling trends: during the last 20 – 30 years, the number and the intensity of the natural disasters have increased dramatically. So did the number of people killed or affected. The earthquake in Haiti in 2010 killed 230 000 people alone …. Between 2003 and 2012, some 6700 disasters hit the planet with 2005 being the darkest one – 810 disasters in one year. Typhoons in the Philippines, floods in Pakistan, China or Europe, droughts and famine in Africa, garnished with conflicts, are now almost daily events.

The economic losses from these disasters went up from $ 50 billion to $200 billion a year since the 80s. Every Red Cross volunteer will tell you that during a disaster the most needed and precious live saving element is not food, water or medicines. It is the timely, accurate information that is the most needed. As timely and accurate information saves lives, prevents major tragedies, stops rumours, which create panic and leads to even more casualties. This is how solid information flow becomes the backbone of a successful communication strategy. In short, everything, which you do and helps your societies to organise themselves better, is vital. Local and national authorities count on you as the last bastion of reliable information channel. Your professional skills and your humanitarian duties make you more than radio amateurs; you are truly needed guardians in time of troubles and I hope you will always stay as a pillar of hope and courage for all who are in danger.

Thank you for your noble work. I wish you every success in this Conference.

Kristalina Georgieva

Sean Kelly Tour

September 1st, 2014

On the 24th of August, radio amateurs from the South East assisted at the Sean Kelly Tour Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). Our primary role was to establish communications between some of the Voluntary Emergency Services and the EOC,  tracking, using APRS,  the head and tail of the three events (50k, 100k and 160k), and acting as roving weather observers for the Medical Coordinator.  The total area covered during the day was approximately 1500 square km.

Many thanks to EI2HIB, EI3HLB, EI5GOB, EI5HHB, and EI7IG.

Typhoon Rammasun death toll climbs

July 19th, 2014

About 20 people are dead and many left homeless after Typhoon Rammasun, which means ‘thunder of god’, hit the Philippines.

With winds and heavy rain it closed the capital of Manila on Wednesday, before moving north-west out to the South-China Sea.

The Philippine Amateur Radio Association President, Thelma Pascua DU1IVT, activated the Ham Emergency Radio Operator (HERO) network on 7095 kHz. It worked closely with other responding agencies.

The storm on Tuesday and Wednesday resulted in the evacuation of thousands of people, closed businesses, schools, 60 flights were cancelled and ferry traffic halted.

The eye of Typhoon Rammasun passed to the south of Manila after moving through the eastern islands of the archipelago to bring down trees and power lines, caused electrocutions and blackouts.

Thelma DU1IVT reported that in Manila she had winds of 150-185kph for hours. At least 40 provinces and cities were under a storm alert.

The government took every precaution to minimise the deaths. Super Typhoon Haiyan last November killed at least at least 6,300 people and 1,000 are still missing.

About 20 storms reach the Philippines each year making it one of the world’s most disaster-prone areas.

- Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.

An Rás Mór, 2014

May 31st, 2014

EI4JN, EI7IG and EI8JA assisted on three safety boats at An Rás Mór in Cork Harbour earlier today. Good use was made of the EI7FXR repeater up at Farmers Cross for coordination. Once all three vessels were back in simplex range, operations were then conducted on 144.525, this allowed for coordination between ourselves while leaving the Marine channels free for Race Control, and more important safety traffic.

Conditions were ideal for the day, with no major incidents. A enjoyable day on the water.

AnRasMor2014

Mick, Gary, Matthew, Conor (EI4JN), John (EI7IG), John (EI8JA), Harley

Serbian disaster relief communcations.

May 22nd, 2014

At this moment the Serbian Radio Association (Savez radioamatera Srbije) carries out disaster relief communications in flooded areas. The control station uses the call sign YU0S. On 80m the frequency 3760 kHz (+ QRM) is used. All radio operators are asked to keep this frequency clear.

On VHF a repeater network with the same callsign supports the operations.

Tropical Cyclone Ita

April 13th, 2014

After causing damage and resulting in at least 23 deaths in the Solomon Islands on April 5, the category 5 Tropical Cyclone Ita came ashore in Queensland? in Australia’s northeast.

Dale McCarty VK3DMC reports that no Wireless Institute Civil Emergency Network? (WICEN) activation has occurred so far, point in time.

He said frequencies are constantly monitored and many of the Far North Queensland? hams are checking in just to see how others are faring.

The frequencies are 7.088 MHz and 3.588 MHz until the cyclone which has been? downgraded to a category 1 continues to move south with strong winds and? flooding.

When the cyclone came ashore at Cooktown about 50 buildings were damaged? another five written off, road were blocked, water supply was critically,? power and communications affected.

A strong winds and torrential rain closing airports as the weather system? moved south to cause more damage. Sugar cane and banana crops were flattened.

The population were well prepared with many taking refuge in community shelters.? The mobile phone service remained mostly intact and fibre optic cables provided communication with some areas.

Tropical Cyclone Ita has formed over the northern Coral Sea to engulf the Solomon Islands which has at least 23 people dead, about 30 people missing, and has left 49,000 homeless.

The country was also felt a 7.6-magnitude earthquake 96 kilometres south southeast of the provincial capital of Kirakira, but it caused minimal damage.

- Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.

Tropical Cyclone – Australia

April 11th, 2014

As Tropical Cyclone Ita impacts on far northern area of Australia, WICEN
has declared a number of frequencies for health and welfare traffic including
7.088 MHz an 3.588 MHz, as well as 2m and 70cm.

Dale McCarthy VK4DMC reports that at this point in time the cyclone has crossed
the coast at Cape Flattery which is just north of Cooktown as a severe category
4 system.

Cooktown is experiencing very strong wind and heavy rain. The system will
track south/west over the next 12 to 24 hours and possibly impact on the
Atherton Tablelands, Port Douglas and Cairns before heading south towards
Townsville.

- Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.

2013 Sean Kelly Tour

August 31st, 2013

The Sean Kelly Tour is over for another year. AREN was invited by Waterford County Civil Defence, along with the Irish Red Cross and Order of Malta to assist at this years event.

Our principal task this year was to track the sweeper vehicles in each event, on the day we were also tasked with establishing a radio link with Order of Malta.

IMAG0093

The APRS units from Byonics worked quite well, giving us information as to the sweepers location, and after discussion with the Officer in charge of Order of Malta, a communciations link was successfully established.

Everything worked as expected on the day and it was great to see the different organisations all operating together.