From ARRL Letter, March 17, 2011
- + Public Service: After Devastating Earthquake, Japan's Radio Amateurs Provide Communications Support
After the 8.9 earthquake that struck near Sendai, Japan at 2:46 PM JST (0546 UTC) on Friday, March 11, the island nation is trying to recover. Soon after the earthquake -- which the US Geological Survey is calling the largest to hit the island nation in 140 years -- Japan has been rocked by tsunamis and power outages caused by trouble at a nuclear power station. Reports from Japan tell of phone and Internet service still up in most parts of the country. Even so, the Japan Amateur Radio League (JARL) -- that country's IARU Member-Society -- has asked that 7.030 MHz be kept clear for emergency use. Other reports are asking that these additional frequencies be kept clear: 3.525, 7.030, 7.077, 7.087, 7.097, 14.100, 21.200 and 28.200 MHz.
JA1RL, the JARL HQ station -- along with other amateurs throughout the island nation -- is maintaining the effort to support the disaster relief operation, according to IARU Region 3 Secretary Ken Yamamoto, JA1CJP. "In less damaged areas, the electric power supply is being restored gradually and local amateurs have started to establish stations at shelters," he said. Yamamoto said that JA1RL continues to operate as an emergency traffic center on 7.030 MHz, as well as 2 meters and 70 cm. It is receiving and reporting news from Japanese amateurs who are in the affected area. Using battery power or small generators, Japanese stations are active and are using various frequencies to exchange rescue and disaster relief operation information with JA1RL and others.
"While 3.525, 7.030, 7.043 and 7.075 MHz have been mentioned as in use, it's wise to keep those -- and all of the Center of Emergency frequencies -- clear of normal and non-urgent traffic," said IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee Chairman Jim Linton, VK3PC, who added that there is no call for additional foreign radio amateurs in Japan.For more on how radio amateurs in Japan are providing communications support after earthquake, click here. For information on how US amateurs are helping out, click here. For more on how Japan, Hawaii and the Western US dealt with the immediate aftereffects of the earthquake and tsunami, click here.
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