Emergency Communications

Venezuela Earthquake activation

On August 21, 2018, at 21:31:40 UTC, an earthquake of 6.9 Richter, on the coasts of Venezuela was reported.

Karl Hleftschar, YV5YA, National Director of the National Emergency Network of the Radio Club Venezolano, reported that the YV5RNE Network is active on the 7088 kHz frequency.

Jose Rafael Gomez, YV1GEC, who lives in the Isla de Margarita, Venezuela; He commented that the earthquake felt strong, and until now, there has been no interruption of the electric power, or interruption of the gas service.

Roberto Rey, HK3CW, President of La Liga Colombiana de Radio Amadores, reported that in Colombia, "he felt even in Bogota ... very prolonged."

It is requested to keep the frequency 7088 kHz, and close free of interference.

( Information from Cesar Pio Santos, HR2P EMCOR IARU R2) 

Amateur Radio responds to flooding in Kerala, India

Jayu VU2JAU reports that Radio Amateurs in the Indian state of Kerala are actively responding to this disaster. Flooding caused by monsoon rains and overflowing dams has currently killed over 300 people and left over 300,000 evacuated to relief camps.

They are using HF and VHF for both local and wide area communication between the Senior District Adminstrators and many of their local offices. Stations are working 24 hours a day on 7110kHz and 145.5MHz as well as a local 2m repeater at Idukki. The stations are involved in passing messages assisting the administration in running the evacuation, such as organising food, water, medicines etc..

The preparedness of Amateur Radio has been demonstrated to the State Disaster Management Authorities and Local Adminstrations before and is now being put to good use.

Many radio amateurs in the area ( too many callsigns to list here ) are already active and many more are ready to assist. Stations outside India are asked to help by avoiding QRM to their operations. 

Indonesia - Lombok Earthquake

As Radio Amateurs in Indonesia respond for the second time to an Earthquake in the Lombok area, please take care to avoid causing QRM to their activities on 7.110MHz and emergency activities on satellite IO-86.

The second powerful earthquake inthe area killed at least 98 people and seriously injured more than 200 others. The electricity supply in the area is disrupted and the ORARI of West Nusa Tenggara Region led by YB9KA and YB9GV have taken action to cover areas with no cellular coverage including taking battery supplies to affected repeaters. At the moment four repeaters are operating in the disaster area with ORARI HQ asking their Bali Island Region (the closest area) to provide further repeater support for use by emergency communications in Lombok.

ORARI HQ has also issued an official request to the nearest region, to help with both logistics and personnel to Lombok, and designating a National Frequency for the Lombok Earthquake at 7.110 MHz for HF, VHF on 145.500 MHz Simplex and 147.000 MHz Duplex, and also to activate ORARI Satellite LAPAN IO-86, to assist with communication.

The Central Java Region of the Indonesian Search And Rescue Council has sent a group of rescuers and vehicles, lead by YB2QC the Operation and Technical Head of ORARI to join the National Rescue Operation in Lombok and ORARI Jakarta is also arranging the delivery of logistical assistance to Lombok.

(Summary of information from Dani YB2TJV )

Emergency Communications Meeting - Friedrichshafen 2018

The 43rd HamRadio Exhibition at Friedrichshafen attracted 15460 visitors, among them around 20 Emergency Communicators who attended the IARU meeting for Emergency Communicators on Friday 1st June.

After the introduction and Region 1 report, there were interesting presentations followed by a good exchange of information in an Open Forum session which carried on beyond the official closing time of the meeting.

Michal SP9XWM and Chris SP7WME presented on emergency activities in Poland followed by Herbert OE3KJN talking about their activities in 'Exercise Solar Flare' where there was good co-operation between Radio Amateurs, the military and service providers. Finally Alberto IK1YLO and Marco IU1GJE spoke about the internet linked DMR network they were working on for disaster use. 

The presentations are available on the following links;

Region 1 Emergency Co-Ordinators ReportSP-EMCOM , Exercise Solar Flare ( Austria ) , RNRE DMR Network proposals .

( Content is the opinion of the presenters )

The next Ham Radio on the Bodensee is on June 21-23 2019 and will include another emergency comms meeting.

Atlantic Hurricane Season 2018

The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from 1st June to 30th November this year. So it is time to remind the wider Amateur Radio community that the following frequencies may be in use by nets in North and Central America to track and deal with the consequences of these severe weather events. Radio Amateurs in Region 2 play their part in gathering and distributing information for the weather and emergency services as they do every year.

Radio Amateurs in Region 1 are reminded it is possible to cause unintentional QRM to these nets so please listen carefully if operating near these frequencies:

Belize: 7.177MHz
Caribbean Emergency & Weather Nets (CEWN): 3.815 & 7.162 MHz
Caribbean Emergency: 14.185 MHz
Central America: 7.090 & 3.750 MHz
Cuba: 3.720, 3.740, 7.110 and 7.120 MHz
Eastern Caribbean Narrow Band Emergency System Net: 7.036 MHz USB (Olivia & MT63)
Guatemala: 7.075 MHz
Mexico: 3.690, 3.693(Alternative), 7.060 & 14.120 MHz
Nicaragua: Main Frequencies 3.798, 7.098, 14.298 MHz Alternate Frequencies 3.898, 7.108, 14.198MHz
Panama: 7.085 MHz
Republica Dominicana: 3.780, 7.065 (Main), 14.280 MHz

USA:
Maritime Mobile Service Net: 14.300 MHz
Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN): 14.265 MHz
Hurricane Watch Net: 14.325 MHz (day) 7.268MHz (Night)
National Hurricane Centre ( WX4NHC ) 14.325MHz

Other local emergency communications groups may also activate if a hurricane approaches their area and those frequencies would be announced at the time.

Thanks to the National Societies and Emergency Communications Groups of IARU Region 2 for updating their frequency information.

A Spanish translation of this article is available from here.