Earthquake update #4

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

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

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.

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.