As the dual natural disasters of an erupting volcano and the aftermath of a Tsunami continue, ORARI (Organisasi Amatir Radio Indonesia) has advised how its members are providing emergency communications.
ORARI International Affairs Coordinator, Wisnu Widjaja YB0AZ said, “Our members are still working in the field at Mount Merapi Eruption disaster and Mentawai Tsunami. We are working on the 2-metre band and HF is 7.065MHz.”
He asks that the 40m frequency and the IARU Region 3 Emergency Centre of Activity Frequencies be kept clear from regular use.
“We are supporting communication for rescue, first aid, medic, food and logistics. We are embedded with the local government and Ministry of Communications and Information Technology Rescue Team,” said Wisnu YB0AZ.
Mount Merapi at Yogyakarta province has had a series of eruptions and claimed 138 lives. Volcanic ash air pollution is also disrupting international flights and hampering local aircraft movements delivering much needed medical and other supplies. Thousands have fled the immediate volcano area.
Meantime the tsunami triggered by a 7.2 magnitude quake that hit the Mentawai Islands washed away coastal villages claiming an estimated 400 lives. Aid is yet to reach all of the remote and sparsely populated areas.
Wisnu YB0AZ said that especially in the Mentawai disaster, communications support is being provided to the Indonesian Red Cross.
Our thoughts are with the ORARI Communication and Rescue Task Force team members as they enter another week of providing emergency communications, often in difficult circumstances.
— Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman, IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.