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Pakistani Amateurs Team Up to Provide Communications, Relief Support for Flood Victims

08/20/2010

According to the Pakistan Amateur Radio Society (PARS) -- that country’s IARU Member-Society -- radio amateurs in Pakistan have teamed up with the Islamabad Jeep Club (IJC) and Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP) to provide relief activities in those areas of Pakistan devastated by floods. The groups will supply food, tents and medical support to the northern flood affected areas of Nowshera, Charsadda and central Sargodha districts. “The cellular services are down and so is the landline,” the PARS Web site reports. “Last week, the joint team carried out a survey in the north and the center of the country, and to its dismay, the situation isn’t promising. Restoration of cellular services and landlines could take months.”

PARS already has a 2 meter repeater in these places and say a “weak signal can be heard in these areas, but [they] would need cross-band repeaters to further increase its strength and allow penetration into the remote areas. This would result in effective communication through handheld [transceivers], rather than relying on base stations where there is an issue with electricity.”

PARS has set aside the following frequencies for relief efforts: 145.700 MHz (receive 145.400 MHz, transmit 144.200 MHZ, CTCSS 88.5 MHz), 7.070 MHz, 14.200 MHZ and 14.300 MHz, 435.050 MHz (CTCSS 88.55 MHz)

In order to address the communication breakdown, PARS and the IJC created two teams: one for the northern cities, linking Islamabad with Peshawar, Nowshera and Charsadda, and the other to link cities in the center of the country, including Sargodha, Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan.

In the past few weeks, monsoon rains have deluged Pakistan, followed by disastrous floods that PARS said “were never seen in the last eight decades in some regions. These floods have impacted millions of Pakistanis who need help from the international community with providing food, clean drinking water, shelter and medical aid.” In the second week of the disaster, floods are spreading to the Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan Provinces, as well as the Kashmir region where thousands of villages have been destroyed and the situation is worsening.

PARS members, in partnership the IJC, has initiated a relief mission to help the suffering population, and are raising funds to provide essential relief supplies to the families affected by these floods. Until now, more than 1500 people have lost their lives, thousands of villages and towns are destroyed and more than 4.5 million people are left homeless or displaced in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in the northwest region of the country. PARS reports that due to “large scale destruction of roads and bridges, relief agencies are finding it difficult to reach the areas where people are still stranded. Once communication with those areas is established, authorities are expecting [to find] a high number of fatalities.”

PARS said they have targeted three areas that need a great deal of assistance:

  • Pashtun Garhi and Pir Sabak in the Nowshera District: (34° 01’ 13.94”N, 71° 49’ 54.96”E) Approximately 14,000-16,000 affected/displaced; immediate requirements are tents; food and drinkable water
  • Dharkhanawalla in the Sargodha District: (31° 50’ 10.90”, N 72° 19’ 33.36”E) According to PARS, the town itself is not affected, but many villages east of the town are under water; food is an immediate requirement
  • Mera Prang in the Charsada District: (34° 7’ 36.51”, N 71°46’ 31.48”E) Approximately 300 families are without homes; tents are the most-need necessity here.


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