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HAM Radio Help for Quake-hit Nepal

(A small group of amateurs become the backbone of relief and rescue operations during natural disasters)


After helping Andhra Pradesh government in disaster relief during the Hudhud cyclone, the National Institute of Amateur Radio and West Bengal Radio (Amateur) Club members are all set to go to Nepal for helping in quake relief operations.


The Indian Consulate officials have roped in amateur radio operators in a desperate bid to set up communication in disaster-wrecked Nepal. The earthquake on Saturday (April 25) snapped several communication networks in the tiny Himalayan country.


The team will be led by Mr Ram Mohan Suri of the National Institute of Amateur Radio, according to Ambarish Nag Biswas, the founder member of the West Bengal Radio (Amateur) Club. He said a four member team, including him, from West Bengal and 7 others from different states across India were going to help the quake affected people of Nepal.


During a natural disaster the high frequency amateur radio also known as HAM radio becomes one of the few tools for the government to coordinate relief operations and exchange critical messages between government bodies within and across countries.


Almost 1800 people have died and over 600 are missing in Nepal after Saturday’s quake which registered 7.9 on the Richter scale. Many are suspected trapped under the debris. The earthquake had its epicenter near Lamjung in Nepal and many parts of India too felt the tremor. Fresh tremors measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale were felt on Sunday too.


The Call sign of National Institute of Amateur Radio is (VU2MYH) and the call sign of West Bengal Radio (Amateur) Club is (VU2JFA). A control room will be set up in Sodepur, West Bengal. During the rescue operation these call signs will be used as a mode of communication and the information will be passed on. The Nepal government has already installed two radio stations in Kathmandu.


The Ham Radio team is expected to reach Nepal by Sunday (April 26) late afternoon.


Amateur radio participants use radio communication equipment to communicate with other radio amateurs through airwaves across the world for public services, recreation and self-training. The members of National Institute of Amateur Radio and West Bengal Radio (Amateur) Club have joined hands with the government of India and helped during many natural disasters like cyclone Hudhud, cyclone Phailin, cyclone Aila, Uttarakhand disaster and also during last year’s unprecedented floods in Kashmir.


The HAM Radio operators also play a vital role in communications during the Ganga Sagar Fair and the Khumbh Fair when huge congregations gather for worship.


Mr Nag said people from different parts of the country can send him the name, address and the possible location of their dear ones on his 9432919009 number (message only) and he can pass the information to Nepal authorities for search and rescue support.


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