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Chinese Amateurs Assist in Earthquake's Aftermath:

from The ARRL Letter on April 25, 2013
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Chinese Amateurs Assist in Earthquake's Aftermath:

On the morning of Saturday, April 20, a powerful earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale struck Ya'an City in China's Sichuan province. The epicenter was near Lushan County. As of Wednesday, April 24, almost 200 people have been killed and more than 11,000 people are injured.

Radio amateurs in Sichuan province took immediate action. Liu Hu, BD8AAA, and BA8DX led a team to the disaster area to provide emergency communication services. Even in the aftermath of the earthquake, the FM repeater in Ya'an City was still functioning; BG8FUW in Lushan County and BG8EYD in Ya'an City used this repeater to coordinate local efforts.

According to IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee Chairman Jim Linton, VK3PC, it has been raining in the earthquake area. "Effective traffic control has been very important to transport tents, water, foods and medicines into the area," he said. "The rural communities around Ya'an City are along the same seismic fault where the Great Sichuan Earthquake killed more than 90,000 people five years ago in one of China's worst natural disasters. The latest earthquake on Saturday left tens of thousands of people in tents or cars, unable to return home or too afraid to go back as aftershocks continued. Badly hit Lushan County is now a large refugee camp, with tents set up and volunteers providing meals."

Immediately after the earthquake, the Chinese Radio Sports Association and Chinese Radio Amateur Club asked all amateurs to avoid 3.855, 7.050 and 14.270 MHz, as these frequencies were being used for disaster relief communications. As of April 22, public communication is back to normal in the disaster area and amateurs are free to once again use these frequencies. -- Thanks to Fan Bin, BA1RB, and Jim Linton, VK3PC, for the information.


The ARRL Letter

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