Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hams Reported Active in New Zealand Rescue Operations

Radio New Zealand is reporting that a small team of amateur radio operators is using two communication vans to help rescue teams and civil defense officials stay in touch, and that other hams are sending information to overseas family members of Christchurch residents. The city was struck by a major earthquake earlier this week.

According to the report, Richard Smart, who heads the Amateur Radio Emergency Communications team, says 10 hams are working with rescue officials, with one van set up at a major welfare center to keep it in touch with Civil Defence officials and the other en route to help search-and-rescue teams in an area with poor communications.

Smart also told Radio New Zealand that amateurs from around the country are volunteering to help out and others are sending updates on the disaster to families of people in Christchurch who are overseas. While no frequencies were included in the report, it is important that hams in other parts of the world listen carefully before transmitting to make sure they are not potentially interfering with either emergency or health-and-welfare traffic. There are propagation paths between ZL and North America, especially on 20 and 40 meters (see earlier postings).

- Tnx Newsline & ARRL