Received from Greg Mossop, G0DUB IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator:
The amateur radio activity is continuing to help those mainly within the disaster recovery area struck by the worst earthquake in Japan in 140 years. IARU Region 3 Secretary, Ken Yamamoto JA1CJP said "several stations are handling medium distance information exchange on 7.030/7.043 MHz. The operation in VHF and UHF bands becomes more active than in earlier days. About 250 transceivers with JARL licenses are used for communications between various refugee rest places and local government offices. Two sets of 430 MHz repeaters have also been delivered to the disaster area and they are operational now to enhance the existing repeaters coverage and provide easier communications between hand-held transceivers." The big earthquake, now graded at nine on the Ritcher scale, and followed by a tsunami hit north-eastern Japan on 11 March, and crippled a nuclear power facility. More than 13,500 have been killed. The headquarters station of the Japan Amateur League (JARL) in Tokyo, JA1RL became a disaster communication centre in the days immediately after the disaster. Ken JA1CJP said, "It should be noted that some towns are so heavily disrupted that the local government offices are also in the refugee centres and the residents are staying in multiple places. In such cases, amateur radio can contribute a lot to maintain the ties between the local government and residents." In the long haul the emergency communications to be provided through amateur radio, as the disruption to normal life will continue for some considerable time to come. A presentation on the Japanese earthquake triple disaster will be made at the GAREC 2011 in Sun City, South Africa, in August this year. - Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman, IARU Disaster Communications Committee.