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Amateur Radio Volunteers Supporting Emergency Communication Following Flooding in Malaysia and Thailand


[UPDATED 2014-12-29 @ 1907 UTC] Monsoon-generated severe flooding in parts of Malaysia and Thailand has claimed some 2 dozen lives. Another 250,000 people have been evacuated or are seeking higher ground. Members of the Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters Society (MARTS) are supporting emergency communication. Johnny Tan, 9M8DB, of MARTS reports that volunteers are active on 7.110 MHz, with 3.600 MHz being used after sunset, to handle disaster traffic. MARTS has asked the Amateur Radio community to avoid these emergency frequencies.

“The situation has not eased in Malaysia, with rescue and recovery efforts continuing,” he reported, noting severe flooding in various parts of West Malaysia and some structures nearly completely underwater. Seasonal flooding hits Malaysia this time each year, but experts describe this event as the worst since at least 2004, and telecommunication systems have been badly hit.

Amateur Radio stations handling emergency communication are active in Kuala Lumpur, Kuantan, Kemaman, and Bachok, running 50 W and using NVIS propagation. Tan said that VHF/UHF repeaters were used initially, but the severe flooding had affected their power supplies and batteries, so the volunteers made the switch to HF. MARTS volunteers have received permission to handle third-party traffic. Active stations include 9M2CMA at MARTS Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, as well as 9M2CIO, 9M2KUE, 9M2NM, and 9M2GET.

In neighboring Thailand, disaster zones have been declared in eight southern provinces, after floods there claimed at least 13 lives and affected 184,000 households. Champ Muangamphun, E21EIC, said the worst flooding is in Kalantan, Malaysia. E21EIC said he was standing by on 7.110 MHz. — Thanks to Jim Linton, VK3PC, Chairman, IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee and Champ Muangamphun, E21EIC



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