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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB009 (1999)

ARLB009 Ham Nets Activate in Wake of Colombian Quake

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 9  ARLB009
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  January 26, 1999
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB009 Ham Nets Activate in Wake of Colombian Quake

Amateur Radio nets have been activated on 20 and 40 meters following
an earthquake in West Central Colombia. Ham radio reports indicate
the quake may have left an estimated 200 people dead and injured
thousands more. The quake is said to have measured 5.9 on the
Richter scale and caused major structural damage. It occurred just
before 1:30 PM Eastern Time. The fire station in the city of Armenia
was destroyed, the airport there has been closed, and the hospital
is said to be filled to capacity with injured people.

''It has caused major structural damage,'' said Dallas Carter, W3PP,
in Laurel, Delaware, who has been monitoring the 20-meter net being
run by HK3SA and HK3RQA. He reports that as many as 2000 people
hurt, but press reports put the figure much higher. Ham radio
appears to be a major source of information out of the affected

''They are requesting blood, water, medical assistance, rescue
equipment,'' Carter said. ''They have indicated a number of landslides
on the roads in and out of Obando and Pereira'' two of the cities
most severely affected. Carter said his information indicated that a
curfew would be imposed.

Carter reports the quake's epicenter was in the vicinity of Obando.
Damage has occurred in the Colombian states of Riseralda, Quindio,
Tolima, and Huila in the country's coffee-growing region. The
initial tremor and some aftershocks were felt in the capital city of
Bogota, but there was no damage there.

Amateur activity is taking place on 14.347 MHz and locally on 7.085
and 7.090 MHz. At this point, Carter said, most of the traffic is
logistical. Little health and welfare traffic has been handled so
far. ''The traffic I'm hearing is just the basic dissemination of
information,'' he said. ''All of the coordinating activity is taking
place on 40 meters.''

The Colombian Red Cross has dispatched a team of 80. ''There's an
extreme shortage of doctors,'' Carter said. ''They're still digging
people out.''

An earthquake January 14 struck Colombia's northeastern mountains
but caused no injuries or serious damage. That quake registered 5.5
on the Richter scale.

The ARRL has offered its assistance to the Liga Colombiana de
Radioaficionados (LCRA), the League's IARU sister society in


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