Emergency Communications

Caribbean Tropical Storm Otto

The following information has been received from Cesar Pio Santos HR2P about preparations for Tropical Storm Otto.

The storm is threatening Nicaragua and Costa Rica through the remainder of this week. The Nicaraguan Government has raised the alert level for parts of the country to prepare for the storm and the Radio Experimenters Club of Nicaragua (CREN) is also activating their National Emergency Network on the following frequencies;

7098 Main Frequency
7105 Alternate Frequency
3798 Primary Frequency
3805 Alternate Frequency
146,520 Simplex

The Radio Club of Costa Rica is also activating their Network on 7080kHz as an emergency frequency starting at 00:00 UTC 23 November.

Radio Amateurs are requested to listen carefully before transmitting and avoid causing QRM to emergency traffic on those frequencies.

New Zealand Earthquake - 13 Nov (Final)

The deep seated major earthquake of magnitude 7.5 quake that struck the South Island of New Zealand on Monday still has people cut off from road transport due to massive slips and damage.

IARU Region 3 Director, Don Wallace ZL2TLL reports that Amateur Radio Emergency Communications National Director Jeff Sayer ZL4JS advises that AREC offered its services, but were not needed as the civil infrastructure was coping well.

AREC served well during the Christchurch earthquake of 2011, and the latest tremor brought back memories to many of that disaster.

Graphic pictures of roads cut, landslides, rail track dislodged and building damaged in the mostly rural area show the effects of the 'quake, with some seismologists predicting it was possible to have further earthquakes.

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

New Zealand Earthquake - 13 Nov

A strong 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck the South Island of New Zealand at 1103UTC 13 November ( just after Midnight local time ) causing damage and local tsunami alerts, mainly for the East coast of the country.

The local emergency communications group AREC part of NZART are believed to have been operating on their normal frequency of 3.900MHz USB.

Initial media reports are of property damage over a wide area but the situation will not become clear until daybreak and the end of the possible Tsunami threat.

Radio Amateurs in the area with allocations around 3.900 MHz are encouraged to listen carefully and avoid QRM to any ongoing work by AREC.


Caribbean Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew is currently crossing the Caribbean heading towards Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba. http://www.hwn.org/data/nhcat4.html shows the storms predicted path.

The American Hurricane Watch Net is operating 14.325 MHz by day and 7.268 MHz as the storm passes through their area of interest.

Arnie Coro CO2KK reports that Cuba's National Emergency Net will operate on the following frequencies;

daytime primary 7110, secondary 7120, also on lower frequencies we will have provincial nets on 7045, 7080 and possibly other frequencies.

Night time primary 3740 , secondary 3720

Their main emergency station is CO9DCN at the Cuban National Civil Defense Headquarters in Havana, under the supervision of CO2JC Doctor Carlos Alberto SantaMaria, and will be operational all along the event and the expected recovery phase.

Volunteer operators are moving to specific locations in Cuba that are known from past storms to become isolated due to rivers overflowing , roads blocked etc.

The Dominican Republic advise that they are using 7065kHz LSB for their response to this storm.

As always, amateurs are requested to listen carefully before operating on frequencies which may be in use for emergency communications and avoid interference.

Indonesian floods get hams help with communications

The flooding in West Java that caused landslides and killed at least 30 people remains a disaster scene with recovery work continuing. Chief of Organisation & International Affairs of ORARI, Gjellani J. Sutama YB1GJS said that early on September 21 after heavy rain fell and the Cimanuk River burst its banks, and soon after emergency communications began.

ORARI (Organisasi Amatir Radio Indonesia) is the IARU member society, and its Garut District set up the emergency station at a base camp for the worst hit area. Gjellani YB1GJS reports that it had an HF net on 7.110 MHz, with a VHF repeater for Operation and Coordination to support the government and search and rescue team.

The height of the drama included a report that two houses were buried by landslides, a mosque was destroyed, affecting thousands of homes with many of under water. About three dozen were injured and villages in the path of floodwaters were evacuated.

Among the work is looking for the 22 people who are still missing in the disaster area. The ORARI Garut District is waiting for further advice from the government but hopes the recovery phase will soon wind down as the flooding eases.

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