23 January 2010

Haiti Earthquake - Final

From 1800UTC 22 January the HF frequencies used to respond to the immediate needs of the Haiti Earthquake, 14.300MHz, 14.265MHz , 7.045MHz, 7.065MHz, 7.265MHz, 3.720MHz, 3.977MHz will return to normal use.

The groups who have been passing messages on those frequencies will revert to monitoring mode or their normal operations.

There are still a number of radio amateurs in the country attached to various relief groups who may still be heard on the amateur bands on a number of frequencies according to their particular needs to maintain contact with their home countries.

Please maintain the normal procedures of;

* Listen before transmitting
* If you hear any station passing emergency traffic then leave the frequency clear and avoid causing QRM.

Thanks to everyone for their assistance during this emergency.

IARU Region 1

22 January 2010

Ham Radio Operators First to Report Deadly Haiti Quake

Amateur Radio Haiti EarthQuake

Low-tech radios connect some Haitians

In the brutal aftermath of Haiti's earthquake, Jean-Robert Gaillard turned to his low-tech radio for solace and for a lifeline.

When the earthquake hit, the 57-year-old from Petionville, Haiti, found most of his normal lines of communication -- his cell phone, the Internet, even his ability to walk down the street and talk to someone -- severed by the disaster.

But Gaillard used a neighbor's generator to power up his radio and connect to a handful of amateur radio enthusiasts in the United States -- many of whom were eagerly listening to radio static for calls like his.

Unlike many other people in Haiti, Gaillard was able to contact family members in the United States soon after the January 12 earthquake hit to tell them he had survived.

In those first hellish moments, that connection seemed like a miracle. "It relieved the tension of my family members," he said, speaking by Skype from Haiti on Tuesday, which he says wasn't possible until more recently.

"They could hear my voice. They knew that I was OK."

Much has been made about the role flashier technologies like Twitter, Skype and text messaging have played in helping disaster victims find loved ones and communicate with international aid workers. But it is worth noting that, when all else fails, the low-tech hum of a radio frequency is sometimes the only line of communication that's open.

You can read the full CNN news item Low-tech radios connect some Haitians by John D. Sutter at: http://edition.cnn.com/2010/TECH/01/20/