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[R3-dcom] HERO net in Philippines storm disaster

2015-1-2 08:18
[R3-dcom] HERO net in Philippines storm disaster

HERO net in Philippines storm disaster

No rest for the busy HERO (Ham Emergency Radio Operations) network which
has again activated for the storm Jangmi (Seniang) that made landfall in
Mindanao Island on December 29 and crossed central areas causing massive
floods and landslides.

At least 53 people had been killed and 121,700 affected by the bad weather
system. This storm's death toll was nearly triple the deaths of Super Typhoon
Hagupit in early December.

Thelma Pascua DU1IVT, the Philippines Amateur Radio Society Chief Operating
Officer, says: "With successive typhoons bringing rains, the soil got so
saturated it caused landslides.

"Regional HERO was in place in Mindanao and Visayas. It's now automatic for
a lot of hams to coordinate with their local disaster risk reduction and
management."

Reports of HERO activity came from the affected areas with more than 80,000
taking shelter in evacuation centres.

Among them is Catbalogan town in Samar province, where 19 people died in
a landslide that left homes and vehicles buried under rocks and mud.

Thelma says: "Members from the Eastern Visayas area are embedded in the Office
of Civil Defense and the Risk Reduction and Management Council.

"Eastern Mindanao hams also have good coordination with Local Government
and the National Telecommunications Commission. They were activated two days
before the landfall."

She said regular training outside the affected areas is now starting on emergency
message handling while the regular net control stations step aside, in preparation
for future emergencies hitting Metro Manila.

Thelma DU1IVT says PARA members have more awareness now on the frequencies
used for such situations. They monitor our 40m working frequency and participate
with check-ins for the 7am and 7pm daily nets.

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

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