Archive for May, 2008

Ham Radio Operators Called to Action in Aftermath of China Quake

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

[UPDATE]:

To assist Michael BD5RV/4 and the other amateur radio operators, the Chinese Radio Sports Association have requested the following frequencies be kept clear for emergency communications:

7050kHz
7060kHz
14270kHz

A team of amateurs is said to be operating from the epicentre of the earthquake, Wenchuan, using 40m, with nearby the Chengdu UHF repeater being used to direct ambulances.

An article from the ARRL (American Radio Relay League) today details the harsh circumstance the earthquake survivors in the Wenchuan Area of China’s Sichuan province are having to live with. Chinese amateur radio operators are operating from the earthquake zone passing messages, directing emergency support amongst other essential jobs.

The Chinese amateur radio organisation, the Chinese Radio Sports Association, has called on members “to take actions to ensure their amateur radio stations to operate properly, and to the extent possible stand by on often used short-wave frequencies”.

At 1757 UTC on Monday, May 12 an on the ground report from Liu Hu, BG8AAS, of Chengdu a town in the province of Sichuan, reported that a local UHF repeater survived the disaster.

“It keeps functioning from the first minute and more than 200 local radio hams are now on that repeater.
A group of hams from Chengdu has headed for Wenchuan, the center of the quake, trying to set up emergency communication services there,” he said.

Michael Chen, BD5RV/4, said that Yue Shu, BA8AB, also from Chengdu, Sichuan, was reported to be active on the 40 meter emergency frequency on Monday.

“Up to now, there has been no further information available from the center zone of the quake. There are a few radio amateurs there, but all of the communications have been cut out, including Amateur Radio,” Chen said.

At 1858 UTC, Liu reported that the local UHF repeater in Chengdu

“keeps busy running after the quake. It helps to direct social vehicles to transport the wounded from Dujiangyan, Beichuan and other regions. Another UHF repeater also started working in Mianyan, supported by generators, but they are going to face a shortage of gas.”

Chen said that damage in Chengdu remains in the lowest level, but the situation is

“very very bad in the counties around. A few towns are said to be destroyed completely. More than 7000 died in the town of Beichuan. Casualties in several other towns are still unknown and not counted in the published numbers. It is a long and sad day.”

At 0831 UTC on Tuesday, May 13, Chen said that a group of radio amateurs is now transmitting from Wenchuan, the center of quake:

“Its signal is reported to be very weak. They tried to keep communication with BY8AA, the Sichuan Radio Orienteering Association in Chengdu, seeking for all resources needed. During a contact finished a few minutes ago, they were asking for raincoats, water, tents and outdoor living facilities.”

Lets hope the survivors receive the help they need and they are able to rebuild their lives.