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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB077 (1997)

ARLB077 In the aftermath of Typhoon Paka

ARRL Bulletin 77  ARLB077
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  December 19, 1997
To all radio amateurs

ARLB077 In the aftermath of Typhoon Paka

In the aftermath of Typhoon Paka on Tuesday, December 16, the Red
Cross now has a contingent on Guam to assist in storm recovery
efforts and has terminated its activation of Virginia ARES.

After the storm struck, the Red Cross National Headquarters had
activated Virginia ARES to coordinate damage assessment and recovery
information from ham radio sources in the Pacific--primarily Hawaii
and Guam.  Red Cross National Headquarters is located in Fairfax
County, Virginia, and relies heavily on ARES support during disaster
responses when normal lines of communications are not available.
Information summaries were posted on the Virginia ARES Web site,  The Red Cross terminated the ARES activation
as of 4 PM on December 18 and expressed its appreciation to everyone
who participated in the response.

Mariana Islands DX Association President Jim Kehler, KH2D, has been
the most prominent ham radio point of contact from Guam.  He has
been communicating with the mainland via e-mail using his notebook
computer powered by an emergency generator.  His ham radio station
was not damaged in the storm, but he reports conditions have not
been favorable for reliable communication with the mainland with his
modest setup.  Kehler says several other hams on Guam were not as
fortunate and suffered heavy wind and water damage from Typhoon

Kehler reports the storm wiped out commercial power and water as
well as most of the trees on the island.  He estimated that it could
be ''two or three months'' before commercial power is fully restored
on Guam.  Typhoons are not uncommon in the Pacific, but Kehler said
Paka marked the first storm where he was ''really scared.''

Damage on Guam has been estimated in the $200 million range in the
wake of Typhoon Paka, which is said to have packed record-shattering
winds in excess of 200 mph.


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