Archive for October, 2010

Communication support for dual disasters in Indonesia

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Following two natural disasters, an earthquake triggered tsunami, and separately an erupting volcano, radio amateurs are providing their help as the enormous response effort continues.

ORARI (Organisasi Amatir Radio Indonesia) International Affairs Coordinator, Wisnu Widjaja YB0AZ has provided initial information about the involvement of radio hams in the dual disasters that hit the Indonesian archipelago this week.

He said that the ORARI Communication and Rescue Task Force has joined the team of the Disaster Management of Directorate General Post and Telecommunications, Ministry of Communication and Informatics Republic of Indonesia.

They have been operating in the field and provide communications support to the government and communities in the area where the eruption of Mount Merapi catastrophe at Yogyakarta province and the earthquake also followed by tsunami at Mentawai of West Sumatra,? said Wisnu YB0AZ.

Media reports that at least 170 died, mostly drowned after the tsunami triggered by a 7.7 magnitude offshore earthquake struck the Mentawai islands late Monday off the west coast of Sumatra. Up to 400 others are missing.

While on the island of Java, several hundred kilometres away, 29 were killed when the volcano, Mount Merapi, erupted on Tuesday releasing clouds of hot gas, rocks and laver into the air. almost 42,000 people had fled to temporary shelters around the nearby city of Yogyakarta as the area is covered in volcanic ash.

The remoteness of the affected areas, poor communications, and the ongoing disaster response and relief efforts are likely to see the OARI Communication and Rescue Task Force involved for some time yet.

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

Thai Radio Amateurs assisting with relief efforts.

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

The worst flooding in decades in part of Thailand caused by heavy monsoon rain over the past two weeks has claimed at least 56 lives and affecting 940,000 homes in 32 provinces.

The Bangkok Post newspaper has reported that amateur radio operators in Nakhon Ratchasima and Chaiyaphum are helping authorities coordinate rescue and relief efforts.

The IARU member Radio Amateur Society of Thailand (RAST) on its website reports that the communications talents and capabilities of radio amateurs are being put to good use.

Nakhon Ratchsima is Thailand?s biggest province, which has a population of 2.7 million in 32 districts with 3,700 villages.

The natural disaster has destroyed more than 80,000 hectares of rice paddies, most just weeks away from harvest time that provides many farmers with their annual source of income.

The Nakhon Ratchasima Amateur Radio Association (NRARA) has set up a coordinating centre using the call sign HS3AN.

Located at the provincial hall, it has been working closely with government agencies, relaying details about the emergency situation to officials and relief workers.

NRARA President, Charnchai Siriamornpan HS4XU, said amateur radio operators had also pitched in to help soldiers, volunteers and foundation workers get food to flood victims and ferry women are in advanced stages of pregnancy to hospital.

The Bangkok Post said that government licensed amateur radio users are allowed to communicate with one another using VHF and HF (short wave) radio communications. They often operate in areas where mobile phone signals can’t reach.

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

Training weekend

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

It is planned to have a training weekend over the 13th and 14th of November on the shores of Lough Derg. This central picturesque location has been popular with other Voluntary Emergency Services for training and social activities.

Attendees can arrive on Friday night or Saturday morning.

Saturdays activities will include practical training and a taste of GlobalSET. It will wind down with a tour of the local RNLI station followed by dinner before moving on to the Whisky Still bar for ‘craic agus ceoil’ with local trad’ musicians.

An afternoon finish on Sunday will ensure you are home early that evening. Our host, Declan EI2GE, has kindly arranged generous rates for accommodation and meals. Full details will be circulated to members in due course.