The earthquake in Nepal is a terrible disaster to befall it’s people. It has been so uplifting to learn of the contribution by Radio Hams around the world, and in Nepal, who are providing communications and control at this time. I listened to CT7ACG and 4X4TT on 14205 this afternoon acting as Emergency Net Controllers. They were doing a fantastic job in co-ordinating offers of help and information from other hams around the world. These included, during the time I was listening, Germany, UK, US, Italy, Poland and many more.
It shows just how radio can be used in these sort of situations, when other communications structures are hit or non-existent. No good trying to coordinate this with mobile phones or the internet, as both these systems probably don’t exist in Nepal or have very limited coverage.
It is also a testament to the skills of the Amateur Radio Community, who can rapidly set up these communications networks and really make a difference to peoples lives. This whole episode needs to be shouted about to the rest of the world, and show that ham radio is not just a hobby practised by strange old men, with too much money, in funny rooms called ‘shacks’.
One sour note during my listening period was the presence of idiots tuning-up on the frequency with either tones or ‘Hola,Hola’. A tenet of the amateur radio operating procedure is ‘listen before transmitting’. I have to hand it to the net controllers, they were extremely patient and politely informed the offending stations that it was an emergency network frequency. But the actions of the lids was unbelievable.
I think post-disaster, we all should show our appreciation to these guys, in whatever way, for the tremendous job and service they are performing.