Amateur Radio involved in major exercise in Malta

Radio Amateurs of the Malta Amateur Radio League (MARL) have completed their involvement in a European Union supported Earthquake simulation exercise in their country.

Around 300 participants simulated the scenario in which Malta was hit by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in the central Mediterranean area 120km South West of the island. Because of the size of the simulated event the Malta Civil Protection Department were assisted by the Presidenza della Regione Siciliana-Departimento della Protezione Civile in Italy.

The Exercise started at 1700 Local time on 3rd September and continued on until 5th September. As part of the support provided by amateur radio to the exercise, around 220 messages were passed on behalf of the emergency services. They also provided mobile radio backup in areas not served by PMR repeaters and an ATV stream from the exercise site to the base of operation. To demonstrate all the tools available to Amateur Radio they also used digital modes to pass text files, photos etc. between locations and also assisted with setting up of networks and other IT and technical support.

This exercise provided a great opportunity for Radio Amateurs to show what they can do in a disaster in Europe, raising awareness with the authorities and highlighting that disasters can occur anywhere in our region.