Amateur Radio Volunteers Ready as Strong Typhoon Hits Philippines
Super Typhoon Haiyan, a category 5 storm, has hit the Philippines, triggering flooding, destroying buildings, and causing millions to take shelter. Ramon Anquilan, DU1UGZ, of the Philippines Amateur Radio Association (PARA) reports that the typhoon made landfall at about 4:40 AM local time November 8 in Guian Estern Samar, about 600 kilometers southeast of Manila. Neighboring provinces are affected. The storm made a second landfall over Dulag-Tolosa, Leyte, with maximum sustained winds of 235 kilometers per hour (146 MPH) near the center, with gusts up to 275 kilometers per hour (171 MPH).
“HERO [Ham Emergency Radio Operators] have reported that those along the typhoon path have shut down their radios as they wait out for it to pass,” said DU1UGZ. “In a few hours, we feel we should be hearing them again.” Some 270 pieces of emergency traffic have been posted, with more expected. Earlier PARA called for the frequencies of 7.095 MHz and 144.740 MHz to be kept clear for emergency traffic.
The area of Bohol and Cebu, which suffered damage from a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in October, are along the typhoon's path. Bohol was the epicenter of the earthquake, which killed 222 people at left at least 5000 survivors living in tents. There is no power in many areas. Typhoon Haiyan — the world's strongest this year — may be one of the most intense storms ever recorded. The Philippines is battered by an average of 20 major storms or typhoons each year. — Thanks to Jim Linton, VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee