Archive for the ‘international’ Category

Earthquake update #9

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

The final update was received today from Jayu VU2JAU who has been keeping in daily contact with Satish 9N1AA on 20m. Their scheduled contacts have decreased in frequency over the last few days and closed at 02:30UTC today. This is the last known formal international link to stop operating following the ending of MARS communications support at 1100z 05 May 15 between T6TM in Afghanistan and Dr. Panday, 9N1SP.

Aftershocks continue in the area but the frequency of those events has reduced quicker than expected, however there are still vulnerable structures which are being worked on and the terrain means landslides remain a possibility.

There are still Radio Amateurs in the country for example Dale, BA4TB and Mi, BD4TR are part of the Chinese rescue team assisting in the aftermath of the earthquake. Their activity though is in their spare time on the HF bands and is being well advertised through the Dx lists.

Thanks to everyone for their patience and support during the radio amateur activities associated with this disaster. Individual organisations are now commencing their Debriefing process to see what can be done to improve the response next time.

Greg, G0DUB
IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator

Earthquake update #8

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Radio Amateurs continue to provide communications services in the aftermath of the earthquake in Nepal. While the pace of communications has slowed the international links which have functioned since the first hours of the disaster are still working though on a reduced schedule.

The ARSI Co-Ordinator for Disaster Communications in India VU2JAU praised operators Paddy VU2PEP, Sarath VU2SCV, Sanil VU3SIO, Dorrai VU2DVG, Tapas operating VU2IWA and Walidbhai A41LD for the time given for this operation and supporting him through into the night. He is now maintaining a schedule with 9N1AA every two hours should the needs change.

The Nepal – American link supported by the the MARS organisation in America with Ajay 9N1AJ providing the Nepal end of the link reported on 5th May. It is expected though that this link will reduce to a periodic schedule to keep the lines of communication open.

Within the country a repeater donated by CAN-USA which had been held up at customs is now reported by 9N1SP as released and now at Kathmandu University ready for deployment. While sad that this repeater was held up when it could have been useful with the current disaster, Nepal suffers a monsoon season starting in June and it is hoped that it will help the preparedness for future events.

Greg, G0DUB
IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator

Earthquake update #7

Monday, May 4th, 2015

An announcement is expected today ( Sunday ) of the official end of the international Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) phase with the expectation that USAR teams will start leaving the area shortly. It is however still the case that in rural areas it is taking 5-6 days to reach those areas to try and provide assistance.

Two Amateur Radio stations have started operating from some of those rural places. 9N3AA Jose operating from Damauli, District Gorakha and 9N1SD Akarshan installed at Sindhupalchowk. Both the areas are highly devastated and affected.

VU2JAU reported that all amateurs in India are coordinating well, he also makes special mention of A41LD Walid bhai who has supported them right from the first day.

Nepal previously depended heavily on mobile phones for communications (64% according to Wikipedia) and while restoring supplies to cellphonesites can be prioritised, power supplies for the citizens remain difficult. A requirement for 500 crank chargers was identified immediately which was passed on to all Indian Radio Amateurs who hope to be able to ship some crank chargers soon.

Many countries radio amateurs remain active in the area as the communications needs have not gone away. Teams certainly remain from India and China with some emergency traffic also heard in what was believed to be Russian on 14.300 on Friday.

Operations are taking place on a number of frequencies in the 40, 20 and 15m bands with 9N1SP specifically maintaining an international link on sked with the American MARS organisation.

All amateurs are reminded that emergency traffic may be heard on any
frequency in the Amateur bands as it is not always possible for the
Nepal stations to operate on the IARU Emergency Centre of Activity
frequencies. If you hear the words ‘Emergency’ please give the stations room to work.

Greg, G0DUB
IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator.

Earthquake update #6

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

The death toll in Nepal is now over 6,600 persons with a further 100 believed to have died in neighbouring India, Tibet and Bangladesh. The roads to the highly affected areas are closed and the rescue teams are also facing problem to reach on the spot to help people. They all are expecting the roads to open in due course. Satish 9N1AA is supposed to go to Langtang area to join the rescue team to locate people now that his operations on 20m have closed.

Sandip Baruha VU2MUE set up an APRS station in New Delhi and also connected one Italian APRS station in Nepal and exchanged massages. It is hoped to get more information regarding APRS from Sandip soon.

Additional Nepal licenses are now believed to be issued with 2 new callsigns issued 9N3AA, to OM Jose and 9N3RT to OM Ravinder. There are another 4 9N1 stations are in operation from different places. VU HAMs are continuously watching the operation from early morning to midnight and sometime after that also. We are thankful to get cooperation from VU2PEP VU2SCV, VU3TAH, VU3SIO, VU2BL, VU2DVG, VU3PUA, VU3SXN and myself VU2JAU.

Chinese Radio Amateurs as part of a relief team are now established Tinchuli,Boudha,Kathmandu on generator power. They hope to get their 9N7 callsign from the Ministry of communication on Sunday.

People are still looking to get their mobiles to charge so 100 mobile chargers landed there. 30 mobile chargers given in Sakal area, 50 given in Sindhupal chowk and remaining will be distributed in other areas.

Media interest in the Radio Amateur response remains high with the following items being seen over the last 24 hours;

Poland ( TVN24 TV ) – https://youtu.be/XDHId-UiJz4

India – (The Hindu Newspaper ) –  http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/nepal-quake-relief-mumbai-ham-radio-group-plays-a-role/article7159073.ece

Canada – ( CBC Radio ) http://www.cbc.ca/1.3057421

Within the Amateur Radio community there is a greater interest in the emergency aspect of the hobby and anyone interested in finding out more should contact their National Co-Ordinators. In Region 1 their details are available here.

Greg, G0DUB
IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator

Earthquake update #5

Friday, May 1st, 2015

In all disasters there is a sad shift from search and rescue activities to one of recovery. In Nepal this transition is beginning with no further Search and Rescue or Medical teams being required to enter the country and those who are in already reaching the end of their normal planned 10 day period in the area. The situation in Nepal remains difficult but as international resources have been deployed, such as extra equipment from the ITU and the power situation in the country improving then the telecommunications needs change.

An example of this is the closure of the nets on 20m which had been focused on Kathmandu Radio Amateur Satish Kharel 9N1AA today. The situation having improved enough for him to have been interviewed in TV in the USA via a Skype Link ( Video available here ).

Other radio amateurs from India, China and Turkey amongst other countries remain in Nepal until their deployments end and the public communications systems are improving with efforts by the Nepal Police and other agencies to deploy solar chargers so the public can start using their mobile phones again.

The Nepalese authorities are reported to be offering licenses to visiting Radio Amateurs but they are taking a little time to process and the operators are given a specific Nepal callsign and are not allowed to use their home callsigns.

Dr Sanjeeb Panday 9N1SP has also been operating throughout the emergency following the protocols set in previous exercises with the MARS organisation in the Unites States and these operations have included the use of SSTV to pass pictures back to the US to assist the disaster response. Dr Panday’s operations continue to the best of our knowledge.

Any further missing person enquiries should be submitted via the Red Cross at;

http://familylinks.icrc.org/nepal-earthquake/en/pages/home.aspx

This disaster has generated a large amount of positive publicity for amateur radio externally and hopefully interested more Radio Amateurs in preparedness and participation in Emergency Communications Programmes. The IARU Emergency Centre of Activity Frequencies have also been extensively used which is another positive feature.

More information may be found in the IARU Emergency Telecommunications Guide at http://www.iaru.org/emergency-telecommunications-guide.html or via your IARU Regional Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator

Greg, G0DUB
IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator

Earthquake update #4

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

As the time passes the situation in Nepal, hit by a 7.8-magnitude
earthquake over the weekend, seems to be getting worse. Many people are still buried in collapsed buildings and caught in rubble from landslides and there are fears that the number of deaths may increase above the estimated 5,000.

Rescue teams are moving away from capital of Kathmandu, to reach devastated villages near the quake’s epicenter.

National Coordinator for Disaster Communication in India, Jayu S. Bhide VU2JAU, reports that authorities have issued 9N7-prefixed callsigns to some visiting HAMS. He said there was very limited or no power and mobile towers down and mobile recharging was impossible. “In spite of the appalling conditions, the HAM radio operation is in progress and the Nepalese Government has started issuing HAM licences to those visiting HAMs, with callsigns that have the 9N7 prefix. “The authorities have asked for radio stations to be set up at different places to cover most of devastated areas. We are also requesting them to operate on different frequencies to avoid QRM,” said Jayu VU2JAU.

The whole of India has seemingly swung into action to aid the earthquake victims in neighboring Nepal, especially those HAMs who were rarely seen previously. Jayu VU2JAU, Suhas VU2SMN, Peddy VU2PEP Rakesh VU3PUA, Sarath VU2SCV along with some other HAMs have controlled the emergency communication, keeping the frequency busy with messages. They are also trying to get information on the missing people to inform their relatives. A list of 17 missing people from Maharashtra has been passed to 9N1AA, along with 67 others from various countries, with Nepalese authorities involved.

Lists should now be checked against the Red Cross or Google person
finder services at;

http://google.org/personfinder/2015-nepal-earthquake/
http://familylinks.icrc.org/nepal-earthquake/en/pages/home.aspx

to ensure that use is made of the more complete casualty lists available from the Red Cross as they increase their relief activities.

The ARRL along with other groups around the world are trying to respond to the request for VHF handhelds and other equipment which has been passed over the 20m emergency nets. However the process to get even basic emergency supplies and Search and Rescue Teams into the area is hampered by restricted capacity at Kathmandu Airport and Customs procedures. The Nepal Government has signed a customs agreement for the facilitation of emergency relief consignments but even with this agreement in place ( which is solely for humanitarian shipments, not necessarily communications equipment ) the documents that must accompany any humanitarian shipment under the terms of the Agreement are:

1. Cover letter requesting customs clearance (with list of attached
documents);
2. UN Certificate (see template in the Agreement’s Annex), duly
completed by the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s (RC) Office;
3. Completed Custom Entry Form;
4. Bill of Lading/Airway bill (contract of transport), original copy;
5. Commercial Invoice or Deed of Donation;
6. Packing list;
7. Declaration of Origin

This is not an easy process to complete but the ARRL are continuing with their efforts to get the requested equipment through.

Amateur Radio HF nets have been one link between Nepal and the outside world, as Internet service continues to be intermittent and Nepalese hams also are active locally on VHF/UHF.

Radio Amateurs are again requested to keep the frequencies in use by Nepal clear and allow the Nepalese stations to control the flow of
messages, in the same principle as any other distress message.

The current known frequencies are, 14.205, 14.215 and all the designated Region 3 Emergency Centre of Activity frequencies which may be found in the IARU Emergency Telecommunications Guide at
http://www.iaru.org/emergency-telecommunications-guide.html.

 


Greg, G0DUB
IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator

Earthquake update #3

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

The death toll of at least 4,300 people and tens of thousands are homeless following the 7.9 earthquake that hit Nepal on the weekend is still engaged in rescue and recovery.

The quake also triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest with many climbers killed or lost.

Jayu VU2JAU the National Coordinator for Disaster Communication in neighbouring India reported that after the first two days the rescue teams are still finding it difficult to trace the missing as well as those who are buried in the ruins.

He said all the officials and police department are working hard among the chaos to help people.

Jayu VU2JAU said: “More than 2500 people are reported to be untraceable.

As one of hotels was demolished where four doctors were staying, only one survived and is located in Red Cross camp injured condition. This is one case but many cases possible like that as the hotel must be holding many people.

“It was also reported that three places had landslides where casualties are expected to be more and the list may increase.”

He reported that people are stranded in many places like at the Airport, Base Camps, Indian Embassy and other places.

Nepal HAMs are facing hard situation. Now another two HAMs along with Satish 9N1AA and Suresh 9N1HA are supported by Pravin 9N1KK and Akarsha 9N1ZZ, along with VU2DMS joined them in operation,” said Jayu VU2JAU.

The Indian Embassy has arranged busses to evacuate people from various places.

Four buses from Mungaling to Birganj, but face two broken bridges on the way and passengers are required to change buses and walk. Another ten buses are running from Pokhara to Mungling since Pokhara reported maximum casualties.

Four HAMs from Gujarat left for Nepal headed by Zala VU2ZNN. They will be reaching Nepal today and set up stations at critical places.

Similarly a four-member team of HAMs are expected to reach tomorrow from North Delhi. Jayu VU2JAU along with Ananda VU2AGJ and Sandip VU2MUE have decided to set up HF and VHF stations at Gorakhpur on the Indo-Nepal border.

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

Nepal Earthquake – update

Monday, April 27th, 2015

The rescue and recovery work is continuing after the devastating 7.8 on the Richter scale earthquake that claimed at least 2,700 lives, with many missing, and widespread damage in Nepal.

The Nepal Amateur Radio Society is providing emergency communications with their members reported to be active on HF emergency nets as well as on VHF/UHF to handle local traffic. Nepal’s first Amateur Radio repeater, set up in 2012 by the National Society for Earthquake Technology, had a dozen hams who previously engaged in simulated emergency tests.

The 9N1KS repeater 434.500 MHz in and 145.000 MHz out, is on the outskirts of Kathmandu with coverage into the Kathmandu Valley.

Satish Krishna Kharel 9N1AA reports that with help from VU2 in India and others work is continuing. Hams in India have been among the most active responders as parts of Eastern India also suffered earthquake damage.

Satish 9N1AA is using solar power in coordination with the Nepal police in Kathmandu sharing the emergency communications work with Suresh Upreti 9N1HA operating an emergency net on 20 metres on 14.205 and/or 14.215 MHz, has amateurs from around the world involved in message passing including requests for the status of friends and relatives in the disaster areas. Satish 9N1AA said information has already been provided on the status of about 80 loved ones of foreign radio amateurs and others. The 20m operational frequencies of 14.205 and 14.215 MHz have been chosen by the Nepalese stations as it appears they are clearer than higher in the band. Steps are being taken to improve the communications outside the area with Amir 4X6TT offered the facilities of Icelandic station TX4X to operate remotely as this is a low noise location with good antennas and propagation into the affected area.

Sanjeeb Panday, 9N1SP, has been operating on 21.360 MHz with Tim McFadden, KB2RLB/T6TM, a Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) member in Afghanistan. This operation followed procedures exercised with the American Military Auxiliary Radio Service ( MARS ) in 2013 and 2014 in which the emergency scenario was an earthquake in Nepal. Following news of the disaster MARS operators commenced scanning International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Global Emergency Centre of Activity frequencies for stations in Nepal. These frequencies were established as the places to pass emergency traffic in this kind of situation.

Please keep all these frequencies ± 5 kHz clear of *all* transmissions unless you are directly involved in contacts with Nepal.

With more than 17 Red Cross camps set up for affected persons and now that registration of survivors and casualties has commenced use should be made of the Red Cross or Google person finder services at;

http://google.org/personfinder/2015-nepal-earthquake/

http://familylinks.icrc.org/nepal-earthquake/en/pages/home.aspx

There is no cross-border movement so far of radio equipment and radio amateurs with Satish 9N1AA specifically saying that DX hams operating in the area are only possible if they came across as part of a relief team under a government to government arrangement. It is known that amateurs are embedded in some relief teams already heading to the area and steps are being taken to ensure that their frequency usage is co-ordinated with the local response.

Additional radio equipment has been requested on the 20m nets and offers of equipment have been received from many countries to assist. Mobile network and some telephones lines were restored in the late evening along with power in some places and the International Telecommunication Union said on Monday it has sent emergency communications equipment to Nepal to help in the aftermath of the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake. This includes 35 satellite mobile phones and 10 satellite Broadband Global Area Network terminals along with solar panels and laptops to help coordinate the relief effort.

Chile Volcano

Friday, 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.

Great efforts by Philippine hams

Monday, 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.