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[R3-dcom] ARES limited support in US mudslide disaster

Date    :         2014-3-26 AM 7:59
Subject:         [R3-dcom] ARES limited support in US mudslide disaster

ARES limited support in US mudslide disaster

Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers have provided limited response
to those managing the Snohomish County mudslide in Northwest Washington,
which is a declared state of emergency.

Beamed into lounge rooms around the world is the weekend collapse of a mountainside,
engulfing buildings and covering a wide area with a quicksand-like slurry.

ARES Northwestern Division Director Jim Pace K7CEX, reported that he had
trained volunteers at the Emergency Operations Centre and in support of the
Red Cross. The need for emergency communications has been fairly low.

The Red Cross had set up shelters in Arlington and Darrington that have been
kept in contact via ARES and repeaters.

Some communications were damaged resulting in the responders using mobile
phones and VHF radio. The responders will have improved communications when
fibre optic cabling is restored soon.

Search and rescue teams have all but given up hope of finding survivors,
as police helicopters hover above the mess looking for signs of life.

The slide swept trees, soil, rocks, and debris across rural communities of
Oso and Darrington. About two dozen houses were involved.

Snohomish County Director of Emergency Management, John Pennington advised
that the operation was now a recovery mission.

The number of confirmed deaths stood at 14, but was expected to rise as those
reported missing were recovered.

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

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