As misery continues since the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident hit north-eastern Japan on 11 March, the police say the death toll has reached 11,603 dead, with 17,258 missing.
The headquarters station of the Japan Amateur Radio League (JARL) in Tokyo, JA1RL became a disaster communication centre in the days immediately after the disaster.
International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 3 Secretary, Ken Yamamoto JA1CJP reports that they transmitted rescue requests including the needs of refugee centre facilities down to the basics of electricity, water and gas supplies.
Ken JA1CJP said that hand-held VHF and UHF transceivers are now being delivered to the local disaster relief centres.
“The equipment is being used to establish VHF/UHF networks for refugee centres and local disaster relief,” he said.
HF communications for disaster relief are still being operated occasionally by some volunteer radio amateurs, but JARL HQ stations were off the air by Friday, 25 March.
“JARL expresses its appreciation to all radio amateurs for their cooperation to keep 7.030MHz clear for disaster relief communications,” said Ken JA1CJP.
While relief efforts continue, concerns are still being expressed about the crippled Fukushima plant that is the worst nuclear accident in Japan’s history. The crisis has still not been overcome.
It’s a worrying time for the plant damaged by the earthquake and tsunami – measuring 8.9 on the Ritcher scale and the worst for that nation in 140-years.
Jim Linton VK3PC
Chairman, IARU Region 3, Disaster Communications Committee