- Created on 21 May 2010
- Last Updated on 18 March 2013
May 21, 2010
The 7.1 Ritcher scale earthquake that struck China's Qinghai province on 14 April 2010 killed more than 2,000 people and relief efforts are continuing for those left homeless. A day of national mourning was held on 21 April.
Amateur radio operators in China were widely involved in the disaster relief actions. They were from Beijing, Sichuan, Shandong, Anhui, Qinghai and Jiangsu, travelling to the disaster centre. In poor weather conditions they helped in the transportation of medicines, tents, food and clothes to the disaster area. The amateur radio operators were even directly involved in disaster rescue activities. One Beijing amateur radio rescue team saved 6 people.
The high altitude caused 90% of the amateur radio rescue team members to have Plateau Reaction (altitude sickness), but no one was injured during their efforts to help others affected by the disaster. The CRSA (Chinese Radio Sports Association, the National Radio Organization) reports that the experience and lessons learnt from the Great Sichuan earthquake in 2008, resulted in amateur radio disaster relief evolving into a practical level.
The radio hams were connected to government disaster relief organizations to synchronize the operation and enhanced the government disaster relief.
The CRSA says that this time hams joined Non Government Organizations such as Red Cross Society of China, China charity federation, volunteer rescue team, The One Foundation to get financial and facilities support to perform the task. All amateur radio teams brought relief supplies such as clothes, tents, medicine, food and lighting to the disaster area, and one team brought AM/FM radio to the area to help get information from outside. With rich experiences gained by 2008 Sichuan earthquake, the Sichuan amateur radio rescue team arrived in Yushu very quickly, and set up a 70cm repeater to help communication and coordinate all amateur radio operators coming into the area. HF was also used during the disaster relief and mainly on the 40m band. They gained good experience in the rescue. Due to high altitude, one generator did not work, one of the Beijing team had to reduce their communication power.
The Sichuan team has an operator who can speak local language, that greatly helped in disaster relief. Now, all of the amateur radio heroes have returned to their daily life, we will never forget their contributions in the disaster relief.
(Report provided by Fan Bin BA1RB, CRSA Coordinator IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee and Chairman Jim Linton VK3PC)