Radio amateurs are providing emergency communication support during the response to a December 7 magnitude 6.5 earthquake in Indonesia’s Aceh Province. The death toll is reported at 100, with nearly 300 injured.
The IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee’s Dani Hidayat, YB2TJV, reports that it took 2 hours for the ham radio group from the Indonesian Amateur Radio Organization (ORARI), Aceh Region, to reach the earthquake zone. A team led by Abdullah Ali, YB6AA, and Ismul Huda, YB6AG, and others supported emergency communications in the field at Pidie Jaya. Zainal Abidin, YC6FZ, was injured when his house collapsed, but his family was safe; Huda took Abidin to the Banda Aceh Hospital for treatment.
YB2TJV reports that 7.110 MHz (clear frequency requested) and 2 meter FM were being used for emergency traffic. The quake flattened houses and buildings, caused infrastructure damage, and left large cracks in roads in the worst-affected districts of Pidie Jaya and Pidie.
Search-and-rescue teams continue to check the rubble of at least 125 homes, 105 shops, and 14 mosques. Many hundreds sheltered in a makeshift refugee camp. — Thanks to Jim Linton, VK3PC, chairman, IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee