- Category: Emergency Communications
- Published: Sunday, 13 April 2014 19:28
- Written by G0DUB for VK3PC
- Hits: 2376
After causing damage and resulting in at least 23 deaths in the Solomon Islands on April 5, the category 5 Tropical Cyclone Ita came ashore in Queensland in Australia's northeast. Dale McCarty VK3DMC reports that no Wireless Institute Civil Emergency Network (WICEN) activation has occurred so far, point in time. He said frequencies are constantly monitored and many of the Far North Queensland hams are checking in just to see how others are faring. The frequencies are 7.088 MHz and 3.588 MHz until the cyclone which has been downgraded to a category 1 continues to move south with strong winds and flooding.
When the cyclone came ashore at Cooktown about 50 buildings were damaged another five written off, road were blocked, water supply was critically, power and communications affected. A strong winds and torrential rain closing airports as the weather system moved south to cause more damage. Sugar cane and banana crops were flattened. The population were well prepared with many taking refuge in community shelters. The mobile phone service remained mostly intact and fibre optic cables provided communication with some areas. Tropical Cyclone Ita has formed over the northern Coral Sea to engulf the Solomon Islands which has at least 23 people dead, about 30 people missing, and has left 49,000 homeless. The country was also felt a 7.6-magnitude earthquake 96 kilometres south southeast of the provincial capital of Kirakira, but it caused minimal damage.
Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.