Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) update

08:03 Fernando Luiz de Souza 0 Comments

One of the most powerful storms ever recorded hit the central Philippines on November 8 with 314-km/h winds that killed about 4,000 people,  swept away coastal villages and devastated main cities.

The Philippines Amateur Radio Association (PARA) and its Ham Emergency Radio Operation (HERO) network continue to provide emergency communications, although some communications and limited power have recently been restored in many disaster areas.

HERO stations have worked with authorities including the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), local communities and non-government organisations.

Ramon Anquilan DU1UGZ, Vice Chief Operating Officer of PARA, reports that many are active throughout the archipelago including in most typhoon disaster areas.

The news media has taken interest with Ramon DU1UGZ being interviewed, including twice on the BBC and also US network. Nathan DU5AOK (Tacloban) and Ramon have also been on radio station DZBB interviewed by the program anchor Kiko Flores.

In one interview Ramon DU1UGZ told how people queued up at a HERO station to get their health and welfare messages out.

He knew that amateur radio emergency communications were effective, and the results saw many "tearful moments" occur when the messages got through.

The BBC World Service latest can be heard at:http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p01lbk7y/Weekend_17_11_2013/
Ramon DU1UGZ said that a group from Don Bosco Technical College Manila including a radio amateur Rey DV1DWJ has reached Borongan and HERO station of Lester DV5PO.

With them was fuel for a generator and he assisted them to set up an HF station.

On the Cebu side, Paul Kelly (retired US Col) DU7/N1PK is assisting the Don Bosco effort. PARA Chief Financial Officer, Jojo DU1VHY is a Don Bosco alumni and coordinating its involvement.

In other reports another group, FARE-8 of Dipolog City with Roy Garbonera DV8BQI is on a relief mission on San Remigio Bantayan Island in Cebu. Roy has roots there and will be on HF.

In coming days the CARL club relief effort headed by Sidney Tan DW7EEE will join ham club RECON MACE in the Municipality of Daanbantayan, at the northern part of Cebu Island.

RECON MACE is assisting a French medical mission at Santa Fe Bantayan Island. A French ham operator Denis Ramelet F5PXF has asked PARA to monitor and assist the medical team, on Santa Fe Island in Bantayan.

Ramon DU1UGZ said the relief operators for Tacloban have arrived and backed up Nathan DU5AOK who had been the HERO signal in the town.

Manolet DW7DTW has now installed a station in a private warehouse with high elevation in the city, making it easy to communicate with other Dumaguete City rescue volunteers on the ground.

A large relief caravan from the Municipality of Cabatuan, Iloilo with Panay Amateur Radio Club members is packed with relief goods for San Enrique, San Rafael and Estancia.

Weather systems called typhoons, hurricanes or cyclones, are unpredictable in their formation, intensity, size, speed of movement and path. About 20 hurricanes hit The Philippines a year.

On the latest official figures, 1,598 people are missing, 18,175 injured, 2.2 million affected in 10,365 villages or 44 provinces, 288,922 houses lost and damage to 282,884 others. There are 353,862 people in 1,550 evacuation centres. The total property damage is estimated at $14.5 billion.

Jim Linton VK3PCChairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee

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