Emergency Communications

Missing flight search involves Amateur Radio Emergency Communicators

The vanishing of the Malaysian Airline (MAS) Boeing 777-200ER jetliner with 239 passengers on board is a mystery that nine nations are trying to solve.

When flight MH370, ex-Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing, disappeared from the air traffic control radar, the MAS Emergency Management Centre (EMC) at Kuala Lumpur Airport provided accommodation for all next-of-kin at the Everly Hotel at Putrajaya.

The Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters’ Society President, Mohd Aris Bernawi 9M2IR, said MARTS was asked to provide a link between the airport and the hotel.

Mohd 9M2IR said at the hotel MARTS quickly set up a station, led by Zanirul Akhmal Zanirun 9M2PRO, and Azizi Samsuri 9W2ZZE was the MAS team leader.

NESRAC, a club from Negeri Sembilan, provided the volunteers for the station at the airport’s Emergency Management Centre.

MARTS provided a cross-band VHF/UHF link to avoid any unnecessary interference from the public services. An HF link was later added.

During the call-out there were 11 volunteers at EMC and 23 volunteers at the hotel, on a shift roster for the link.

Mohd 9M2IR, who oversaw the entire process, said MARTS an IARU member society, was pleased to be able provide the link on the very tragic occasion. The search for MH370 continues.

- Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.{jcomments off}

Radio Amateurs responding to Slovenia Electricity Disruption

{jcomments off}Since 31st January Slovenia has been affected by extreme cold weather such as blizzards, heavy snow and sleet. This has caused the collapse of power lines under the weight of ice, snow and falling trees with electricity disruptions now affecting 250,000 people (25% of households). The restoration of electricity supply is being made difficult by the continuing bad weather. This has prompted Slovenia to request assistance from the European Union for mobile electric power generators with a capacity of 100-300+ kVA.

Within Slovenia, some radio amateurs are assisting with operations on a local community level due to problems with the mobile phone and professional radio networks. At the time of writing, no national request for assistance has been received but Slovenian Radio Amateurs are preparing to respond if required.

The European Union Civil Protection Mechanism has asked for assistance from nearby European states with Germany, the Czech republic and Austria providing generators and assistance. Because of uncertainty whether the Austrian teams responding to Slovenia will be able to communicate back to their home bases, the Austrian Fire Departments have asked Austrian Emergency Communicators to provide a link between Austria and Slovenia using Pactor/Winlink.

Gregor, OE1VGC the Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator for Austria asks all European Radio amateurs to keep clear of the following frequencies and services which are being used to support these links.

S51SLO 3.644MHz
OE3XEC 3.608 and 3.617MHz
OE6XPD 3.601MHz

Information on the European Union response can be found at :
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-102_en.htm

Phillipines Ham network stood down.

{jcomments off}The latest official death toll in the Philippines from the world’s strongest typhoon ever to reach land on November 8 has reached 5,719, with 1,779 still missing.

After weeks of deployment the Philippines Amateur Radio Association (PARA) has stood down its HERO (Ham Emergency Radio Operations) Network, although some still remain in the disaster clean-up.

Read more: Phillipines Ham network stood down.

Phillipines Update 1

Estimates of those people who died when monster Typhoon Haiyan (also called Yolanda) hit the central Philippines on Friday ranges up to 10,000, with many injured and nine million people affected.

The full damage and death toll of the fiercest typhoon ever recorded on land has overwhelmed emergency services, supported by the military and at least five major Ham Radio Emergency Operator network stations.

Read more: Phillipines Update 1

Super Typhoon hits the Philippines

The Super Typhoon Haiyan has affected the Philippines, triggering flooding, destroying buildings and causing millions of people to take shelter.
Ramon Anquilan DU1UGZ of the Philippines Amateur Radio Association (PARA) reports that the typhoon made landfall at about 4.40am local time today in Guian Estern Samar, about 600 kilometres southeast of Manila, and neighbouring provinces are affected.
Then it made second landfall over Dulag-Tolosa, Leyte with maximum sustained winds of 235 kilometres per hour near the centre and gusting up to 275 kph.
Sadly the area of Bohol and Cebu, which suffered from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in October, are also along the typhoon's path. Bohol was the epicentre of the earthquake that killed 222 people, where at least 5,000 survivors still living in tents.
There is no power in many areas including Masbate, Ticao Island, Southern Sorsogon, Romblon, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Northern Cebu, Cebu City, Bantayan, Camotes Islands, Northern Negros Occidental, Capiz, Aklan, Antique, Iloilo, Guimaras and Dinagat Province.
Ramon DU1UGZ said, "HERO (Ham Emergency Radio Operator) have reported that those along the typhoon path have shut down their radios as they wait out for it to pass. In a few hours, we feel we should be hearing them again."
Already there have been some 270 postings of emergency traffic. More reports are expected. Earlier PARA called for the frequencies of 7.095 and 144.740 to be kept clear for emergency traffic.
Typhoon Haiyan, the world's strongest this year, and some reports make it potentially one of the most intense recorded.
The Philippines is battered by an average of 20 major storms or typhoons each year. Typhoon Bopha left about 2,000 people dead or missing on Mindanao Island in December 2012.

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

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