Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ham Radio Emergency Communications Ramps Up in Japan as it Winds Down in New Zealand

Ham radio manufacturers donated hundreds of VHF/UHF handhelds to the Japan Amateur Radio League for use by amateurs at refugee centers and disaster relief centers, according to International Amateur Radio Union Region 3 Secretary Ken Yamamoto, JA1CJP. Ham radio disaster communications activity is ramping up in Japan, a week and a half after the country was hit by a devastating earthquake, tsunami and still-developing nuclear crisis. Most ham operations are on UHF, as well as 7.030 MHz SSB. For more detailed coverage of the ham radio response to the disaster in Japan, see our individual stories elsewhere on this page a special report in the May issue of CQ.

Meanwhile, ham radio disaster relief operations in New Zealand were reported to be winding down as commercial services came back online in and around Christchurch, which was hit by an earthquake on February 22. Details on the ham response there are in the Public Service column in the May issue of CQ.