Thai Amateurs Respond to Floods, Ask that 7.060-7.063 MHz Be Kept Clear
Authorities in Thailand continue to battle the country’s worst floods in decades, with the death toll rising to almost 300. While Thai hams are mostly using 2 meters to communicate, IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee Chairman Jim Linton VK3PC, is asking all radio amateurs to keep 7.060-7.063MHz clear from unnecessary traffic, as Thai hams are also using 40 meters during the flooding that is affecting millions of people in North and Central Thailand.
“Amateur Radio has been assisting with flood relief communications, helping victims in the affected areas, said Tony Waltham, HS0ZDX, the Radio Amateur Society of Thailand’s (RAST) International Liaison Officer. “Operators are using RAST’s club station call sign HS0AC, and a special flood relief center with the call sign HS0AB has been established at Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport. Please be formally advised that Thai radio amateurs are standing by on 144.900 MHz, 145.000 MHz and 144.9375 MHz, as well as on frequencies of 7.060-7.063 MHz in the 40 meter HF band.” Waltham noted that RAST has posted a video (in Thai) to YouTube, showing the activities at the special flood relief Amateur Radio station at the airport.
Despite sandbags, Bangkok -- the country’s capital -- is under threat of flooding. In outlying areas, the floods have destroyed crops, inundated factories and damaged the homes or livelihoods of millions of people. About 110,000 people have sought refuge in shelters. It is expected for the flooding to continue for a week. The high tide will prevent the floodwaters escaping to the sea for a day or two, while the recovery efforts may take a year.
According to Linton, nearly three million people are affected by the floods, and the disaster has caused serious damage to the country`s agriculture and other industries, with Japan’s Toyota, Sony and Honda, along with USA’s Western Digital -- and many other factories to the north of Bangkok -- suspending production until the situation improves. Damage so far has been assessed at more than 20 billion baht ($65,295,400 USD). Waltham said that 26 out of the country’s 77 provinces are affected, and Bangkok is bracing for a large amount of run-off water that will coincide with the seasonal high tides, making it harder for the flood waters to flow out to sea.