In this, the first edition of the Hamnet Report of 2019, I’m very pleased to quote fully the greetings message from Greg Mossop G0DUB, the Emergency Communications Co-ordinator for the International Amateur Radio Union Region One. He wrote this as 2018 was drawing to a close on the evening of 31 December, and I quote:
“As 2018 ends I would like to thank all of you, and your families, for your support again this year.
“Looking back through the mailing list traffic, it has been quite a busy year, but we have not made a lot of noise about this 🙂
“There were a number of exercises held by you all, some looking at technological disasters like power failures, which have the ability to cause great disruption to the communications networks the public have become dependent on. I lost count of who has had this kind of exercise, but South Africa, Austria and Belgium come immediately to mind.
“Other exercises have had a very international feel with co-operation between the Netherlands, Poland and Germany testing their cross-border links. Others like Spain have had a sequence of exercises around the theme of Net Control which have been supported by the use of media like YouTube to spread training to their operators. We even had ARON in Slovenia streaming a training session live to the web, which set a good example for others to follow.
“We were always ready to respond to events, but there were not too many in our Region, so the focus again is on the countries around the world who are more affected by natural disasters, and the best help we can give is to raise awareness to give them clear frequencies.
“2019 begins with a fresh start as I begin to organise the next meeting of Emergency Communications Co-Ordinators in Friedrichshafen on 21st June. I will also be tidying up the mailing list, updating all the records I have for your countries and, now that there is some interest being shown from other Regions again, also thinking about the next GlobalSET, so we will have a lot to do 🙂
“I hope you all have a happy and healthy 2019.
“73 and Happy New Year,
Thank you, Greg, and your kind greetings are reciprocated from South Africa!
Now, further news of that tsunami I reported on last week comes from the Weather Network.
They report that authorities around the globe are working on how they can prepare for the kind of freak tsunami that battered coasts west of Jakarta last month.
The Dec. 23 tsunami killed around 430 people along the coastlines of the Sunda Strait, capping a year of earthquakes and tsunamis in the vast archipelago, which straddles the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire.
No sirens were heard in those towns and beaches to alert people before the deadly series of waves hit shore.
Seismologists and authorities say a perfect storm of factors caused the tsunami and made early detection near impossible given the equipment in place.
But the disaster should be a wake-up call to step up research on tsunami triggers and preparedness, said several of the experts, some of whom have travelled to the Southeast Asian nation to investigate what happened.
“Indonesia has demonstrated to the rest of the world the huge variety of sources that have the potential to cause tsunamis. More research is needed to understand those less-expected events,” said Stephen Hicks, a seismologist at the University of Southampton.
Most tsunamis on record have been triggered by earthquakes. But this time it was an eruption of Anak Krakatau Volcano that caused its crater to partially collapse into the sea at high tide, sending waves up to 5 metres (16 feet) high smashing into densely populated coastal areas on Java and Sumatra islands.
But the eruption didn’t rattle seismic monitors significantly, and the absence of seismic signals normally associated with tsunamis led Indonesia’s geophysics agency (BMKG) initially to tweet there was no tsunami.
Muhamad Sadly, head of geophysics at BMKG, later told Reuters its tidal monitors were not set up to trigger tsunami warnings from non-seismic events.
Scientists have long flagged the collapse of Anak Krakatau, around 155 km (100 miles) west of the capital, as a concern. A 2012 study published by the Geological Society of London deemed it a “tsunami hazard.”
Anak Krakatau had emerged from the Krakatoa volcano, which in 1883 erupted in one of the biggest explosions in recorded history, killing more than 36,000 people in a series of tsunamis and lowering the global surface temperature by one degree Celsius with its ash.
Some experts believe there was enough time for at least a partial detection of last week’s tsunami in the 24 minutes it took waves to hit land after the landslide on Anak Krakatau.
“The tsunami was very much a worst-case scenario for any hope of a clear tsunami warning: a lack of an obvious earthquake to trigger a warning, shallow water, rough seabed, and the close proximity to nearby coastlines,” said seismologist Hicks.
Thank you to theweathernetwork.com for these extracts.
With the start of the New Year, comes the need to round up volunteers for the early sporting events of the year that HAMNET supports. In the Western Cape, our first event is the 99er Cycle Tour around Durbanville, in the direction of Wellington, westward through Philadelphia, and via the N7 back to Durbanville. This event is organized by the el Shaddai Christian School in Durbanville, and takes place on Saturday morning the 9th of February this year.
HAMNET Western Cape is thus looking for the “Usual Suspects” to volunteer their services, and make contact with me in the next two weeks, so I can develop the Operations Plan. We usually have about 14 volunteers so please don’t be shy in stepping forward. We also welcome brand new amateurs, who may, if they wish, ride with an experienced operator to get the feel for these things, with a view to themselves becoming a rover in future years.
I’ll have more details of this in Wednesday the 9th’s HAMNET Western Cape Bulletin, which will be transmitted on the 145.750MHz repeater at 19h30 Bravo that evening. Please feel free to call in during the bulletin to indicate your presence.
This is Dave Reece ZS1DFR reporting for HAMNET in South Africa.