Nepal Earthquake – Report from IARU Region 3

April 26th, 2015

EARTH QUAKE STRUCK IN Nepal and parts of India

It was terrible to bear as all of a sudden tremors of earth quack struck in the morning around 11.40 a.m. on 25 April 2015. It surprised all the people and everyone came out of their houses.
The tremor was experienced 2 – 3 times by all. In Gurgaon as reported by OM Kaustubh VU2UUU that all the 250 people evacuated the building to the safer place. After the effect was over all started their work. Immediately the emergency net was started on 14210 mhz. VU2JAU/AT150ITU was controlling the net. All the other HAMs came in to action soon. In Siliguri few buildings are damaged and a school building in Pokhara, where the epic centre of earth quack is damaged badly but no casualty was reported.

OM Suhas VU2SMN joined the net and helped a lot. OM Suhas VU2SMN remained with Jayu VU2JAU/AT150ITU till late night. Soon 9N1AA OM Satish and 9N!HA OM Suresh was contacted. OM Suresh said that he will be on HF in the night but till than OM Satish 9N1AA will be in communication on HF. OM Satish told that there is no power and all are facing problems to get sets on the air. It was advised that they have to transmit only when required with small over?s. He will be operating HF using 25 watts. He also reported that almost 2000 people are affected due to the earth quake having power of 7.7 RV strong. 15 Nepal HAMs are on VHF and are in contacts with each other from different locations. OM Satish 9N1AA is coordinating with Nepal police.

In India 50+ causalities are reported at different areas. It is also understood from OM Kaustubh VU2UUU that 4 companies of NDRF have left for the eastern India. It was announced to the DX HAMs that the emergency net is working on 14210 and all the DX HAMs put it on Cluster and on Social media. It showed its effect soon as the massages started pouring to find out people. More than 15 people were traced out who found to be in good conditions.

OM Suresh 9N1HA who was in Radio Nepal announcing about the missing persons and helping all.9N1DX YL Tej also supported with OM Satish 9N1AA. At 22.10 tremor of 4.5 Rv was experienced and all the people came out of their houses. It was also announced that the tremor will be repeating after each 1.30 hrs so everyone have to stay out for 30 minutes.
Power restored at 2.30 a.m. on 26/4/2015.

OM Amer 4X6TT joined all the HAMs on emergency net. He informed that Turkey HAMs are ready to send HAM equipments to Nepal. OM Amer 4X6TT helped to keep the frequency clear as so many DX stations were working. it was also reported from Spain that 15 people along with medical equipments will be reaching Nepal next day. The DX HAMs supported during the operation are T6TM OM Tim, 4X6TT OM Amer, ZL2TZE, CT7ACG and VK land. The VU HAMs are VU2UUU, VU2DED, VU2DPI, VU3MDL, VU3UNO, VU2VV, VU3GAO, VU2AGJ, VU2SMN, VU2DFB, VU2IWA, VU3PUA, VU2RIY, VU2IVV, VU2UPQ and many more. Myself along with OM Suhas VU2SMN and OM Rakesh VU3PUA stayed on the band whole night for emergency communication net. Our stations are working with no break.

Jayu S. Bhide VU2JAU
National Coordinator for Disaster Communication in India (ARSI) R3.

Chile Volcano

April 24th, 2015

The Calbuco volcano in the Los Lagos region of Chile erupted for the first time after 54 years of inactivity, forcing the evacuation of an area of 20 kilometers around the volcano. Some 5,000 residents of the area have been evacuated from locations such as Chamisa, Lago Chapo and Route 225.

Marisa Tobella Pinto CE2MT, Director of Emergency Communications, said he advised that 7050 kHz is in use for emergency nets, with the alternative frequencies being 14250 kHz and 3738 kHz.

Winds are pushing the plume of ash towards Argentina where the authorities are also putting emergency arrangements in place and some flights have been cancelled fearing that flying could be dangerous.

West Coast Wheelers Cycle Race

February 26th, 2015

The West Coast Wheelers Cycle Race was run on Sunday the 22nd of February and this was our first event of the year. The course was set in the hills around Loughrea which has many tough uphill climbs along with some long protracted downhill sections where considerable speeds may be achieved. The weather conditions were not fantastic with rain throughout the event. Road surfaces were slippery in places.. (continue reading)

Great efforts by Philippine hams

December 8th, 2014

The emergency communications provided by hams continues as the devastating Typhoon Hagupit (locally called Ruby) moves slowly across the Philippines.

Thelma Pascua DU1IVT, Philippines Amateur Radio Society (PARA) Chief Operating Officer reports that both 7.095 MHz and 144.740 MHz is in use by the Ham Emergency Radio Operations (HERO) network.

“As Typhoon Hagupit enters its third day ham operators continue to provideessential traffic as the storm progresses through Philippine territory,” she said.

PARA, the IARU member society, has sent requests to the neighbouring ORARI in Indonesia, and JARL in Japan, asking for help to publicise the need for all operators to steer clear of the 40 metre frequency used for emergency traffic.

Thelma DU1IVT said, “A HERO volunteer and RADNET-5 President Ronald Madera DW5NLH from Tacloban advised that the Oras West Elementary School used as evacuation centre in Eastern Samar has collapsed, resulting in injuries to evacuees. A rescue team was despatched and this event was to be covered by a news team.”

At the height of the typhoon there were no HERO volunteers in the provincial capital of Borongan. That shortage resulted in a HERO request via Captain Rick Catungal DV6RCC, an Army Captain managing disaster communications in Capiz, and through the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City, Metro Manilla.

Gil Lappay 4F2KWT helped in providing contacts with a relay of messages were needed until the request was received.

Confidence that the HERO network could adequately handle all emergency traffic was shown by around 150 stations that checked in.

As the typhoon was on the move, hams reported the weather and any other developments into the emergency net.

The net controllers are Romy Isidro DU1SMQ (PARA District 1 Manager), Jojo Vicencio, DU1VHY (PARA Secretary General and National Traffic System Chairman) and Thelma Pascua DU1IVT (PARA Chief Operating Officer).

The HERO network running basically from 7am and 7pm has 2pm roll calls to know each station’s reception capabilities at differing propagation.

“We are confident that emergency traffic will be adequately serviced,” she said.

At the request of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), radio amateurs set up at the NTC Central Office that identifies as DX1NTC.

The task of manning the station is given to PARA affiliate club ACER (DX1ER). The initial operators include Raul DU1VFS, Mike, DW1VJD and a good CW operator, Conrad, DU1TDG. Helping to keep that team in action with provisions and logistics are Nards DU1LC, Joe, DU1IL and other ACER members.

The NTC regional offices have also set up stations. From NTC Region 3 Alex DU3AL, Bong DU3BS, Ka Diego DU3DYG; Region 6 assisted by the Panay Amateur Radio Club and PARA District 6 Manager Ned DU6NE with the constant monitoring of Bobby DU6BG.

Other stations were reporting local conditions. Nanding DW5OCF on Ormoc City, Southern Leyte; Jay DV7JAY, Sidney DW7EEE and DW7EQN on Cebu; Art DV7DRG at Dumaguete City with the rest of NORAD 7 members; embedded members in the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Operations Centre (OpCen), Edmund DV7DTE, Ivan DV7DRP reporting wind conditions in Vallehermoso, Negros Oriental – all the way to the Bicol area with DX4CN embedded in the Daet Camarines Norte National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reporting efforts with Lito DU4DF in Naga City.

Ditoy, DW1OZR is reporting from Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro, on the evacuation efforts in a precautionary measure, prior to the typhoon making landfall in Mindoro.

The typhoon is expected to make a six (6) landfalls before it eventually exits the Philippine Area of Responsibility.

ACCESS-5 members 4Nelson, DW5MGB and Edgar DV5EST will be going to Borongan Eastern Samar to set up HF communications on 7.095 MHz and VHF. Mario 4F5MM and Jerick 4F5JMS will be going to Catarman, Northern Samar as part of the assessment team from the Office of Civil Defence.

Nathan DU5AOK was able to talk to Mayor Mabalcon of Paranas, Samar earlier in the day and the Mayor said “the presence of many volunteers is very encouraging”.

Lester DV5PO is reporting about Borongan, Eastern Samar. His report will be vital to those awaiting his assessment of the aftermath in his area.

Other hams are embedded in the different disaster and risk reduction operations centres in the different local government units.

Iver DV6ILA and Arnel DV6WAV are manning the Roxas City operations centre. ACCESS-5 is attached with the Office of Civil Defence, Leyte Province. Vie DU5VIE of RADNET-5 at the Tacloban City CDRRMC operations center. Ton, DW1QGG is embedded as operator with the Marinduque authorities. Dulce, DU4UW is attached to disaster communications at the Sorsogon on the Bicol Peninsula at southern tip of Luzon.

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

Typhoon threatens the Philippines

December 5th, 2014

More widespread devastation is likely in areas of the Philippines that were hit late last year by Super Typhoon Haiyan, as a new typhoon called Hagupit is over the Pacific Ocean headed for mostly poor communities.

The Philippines Amateur Radio Association (PARA) has activated its Ham Emergency Radio Operations (HERO) network in advance of Super Typhoon Hagupit.

PARA Chief Operating Officer Thelma Pascua said that the HERO network is well-practised and prepared to meet the emergency communication needs caused by the severe weather event.

“We urge amateur radio operators to monitor but keep clear 7.095 MHz +/- for only emergency traffic,” Thelma said.

The typhoon is already generating wind gusts of 240 kilometres an hour, with forecasters predicting it to intensify and make landfall on eastern islands.

A high alert has been issued and thousands of families told to evacuate.

The HERO network on 7.095 MHz has been involved with situation reports and other activities.

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

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.