Radio amateurs in Indonesia’s Banten Province are in position to support emergency any necessary emergency communication in the wake of a “stealth tsunami” on December 22, that struck without warning. Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency concluded that a volcanic eruption triggered a landslide underwater at Anak Krakatau.
The tsunami struck in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra, which connects the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean. Rescue and relief activities are under way. The death toll is expected to top 400, and many people are reported to be still missing. Fatalities occurred in the Pandeglang, South Lampung, and Serang regions of Indonesia. Some 1,500 people were reported injured.
IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Coordinator Dani Hidayat YB2TJV, said ORARI, Indonesia’s IARU member-society, would use 7.110 MHz for any relief and recover communication. An ORARI CORE emergency team is using a VHF repeater for regional communication.
ORARI reported that the LAPAN A2 satellite (IO-86) was being pressed into service for emergency communication purposes during the relief and recovery effort. IO-86 should not be used at this time for non-emergency traffic.
“ORARI Daerah Banten, immediately deployed the CORE ORARI Banten team to Cilegon and Serang where the disaster occurred to help the existing volunteer team,” said a report on the ORARI website.
“The disaster management agency warned that the death toll is likely to rise further,” Hidayat said. Some believe that high seas resulting from the full moon may have contributed to the force of the waves. The disaster management agency said hundreds of buildings were damaged.
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