Emergency Communications

Communications outages filles by Indian Hams

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.

Emergency Communications Exercise in Malaysia

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) have asked for an amateur radio emergency communications exercise on September 27 centred on Sarawak in East Malaysia. The IARU member society, the Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters' Society (MARTS) and the Amateur Radio Club Sarawak (ARCS), will jointly run the exercise. It will use the centre of activity emergency frequency 7.110 MHz, near vertical incidence skywave propagation and emphasise the PSK31 digital mode.

The scenario is the failure on the Sarawak electricity grid triggered by an abnormal solar flare which also knocks out all telephones. The exercise is to test the effectiveness of MARTS and ARCS in setting up local and east to west Malaysia communications.

To give authorities a better understanding of the message handling capabilities with accuracy and urgency being important, the IARU message format will be used, as it would should a real life event occur. MCMC Chairman Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi from Kuala Lumpur has been invited to witness and take part in this exercise.

MARTS asks that the frequency of 7.110 MHz be kept clear for the exercise on Saturday, September 27.

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

Typhoon hits Central Philippines

At least 70 people are missing after the Maharlika II experienced steering trouble and sank off the central Philippines during the approach of fast moving Typhoon Kalmaegi. Due the Typhoon, the Philippines Amateur Radio Association has activated its HERO network for emergency traffic and coordination. PARA has requested that 7.095 plus or minus 5 kHz be kept clear.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has asked all in its path to take the necessary precautions. The Typhoon over the Cagayan and Isabela provinces was bringing with it winds of 130km/h and gusts of 160km/h on Sunday, and expected move north-east before reaching the South China Sea on Tuesday.

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

GAREC 2014 next month in Alabama USA

The ARRL Alabama Section and the Huntsville Hamfest Association are proud to announce that the 2014 Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (GAREC) Conference will return to Huntsville, Alabama August 14-15, next month! The conference will be held in connection with the 2014 ARRL Southeastern Division Convention/Annual Huntsville Hamfest. The Huntsville Hamfest will be held on Saturday, August 16 and Sunday, August 17, at the Von Braun Convention Center in Huntsville.

The conference will focus on the application of advanced technologies in emergency communications. All interested Amateur Radio operators and professionals are invited to attend.

In 2005, the first Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (GAREC) Conference was organized on the initiative of Seppo Sisatto, OH1VR in Tampere, Finland. Following the success of this event and the increased interest in international and regional cooperation on emergency communications, GAREC conferences established themselves as annual events.

For each conference, an organizing committee works together with a local host, and International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) representatives participate in the event. In its 2009 meeting in Christchurch, New Zealand, the IARU Administrative Council defined the relationship between GAREC and IARU by adopting the following recommendations contained in the Statement of the GAREC-2009 Conference: "GAREC 2009 recommends that GAREC conferences should continue to be held in locations throughout the world to the extent possible and should maintain the character of GAREC as an informal meeting among representatives of IARU member societies and of Amateur Radio emergency communications groups within or outside of the respective National IARU Member Society, serving as a forum for the exchange of experience and as an advisory body for the work on emergency communications of the IARU." http://www.iaru.org/garec.html

Source - ARRL ARES E-Letter

Another Typhoon threatens the Philippines.

Typhoon Matmo (Henry locally) is centred east of the Philippines and expected to continue to intensify over the next few days to threaten Taiwan, China and south-west islands of Japan.

Philippines Amateur Radio Association Chief Operating Officer,  Thelma Pascua DU1IVT said the typhoon comes less than a week after Typhoon Rammasun and immediately follows a DU-Simulated Emergency Test.

Thelma DU1IVT said: “I have again requested our National Traffic System Chairman, Jojo Vicencio to activate the Ham Emergency Radio Operation (HERO) network on 7095 kHz.

Read more: Another Typhoon threatens the Philippines.