Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hams Respond to Emergencies in India, Philippines

(Maps courtesy CIA World Factbook)
When a huge part of India's electric power grid failed at the end of July, cutting off power to 700 million people, hams in and around the affected areas were able to stay on the air and provide emergency communications. Newsline quotes India's National Coordinator for Disaster Communication, Jayu Bhide, VU2JAU, as saying all voice repeaters in the affected area - which included 20 of the nation's 28 states - stayed on the air using backup power. 

 A week later, when monsoon rains caused massive flooding in and around the Philippine capital of Manila, hams in that country also responded. Newsline reports that members of the Philippine Amateur Radio Association's Ham Radio Emergency Operations group were active for three days, from August 6-9, running nets on 2 meters and 40 meters, in the wake of flooding from a 48-hour deluge. Authorities estimated it would take about a month to clean up all the damage from the storm.