Philippine Amateur Radio Association activates HERO for Typhoon Mangkhut


With Typhoon Mangkhut (locally Ompong) threatening, the Philippine Amateur Radio Association (PARA) activated its emergency radio operations Ham (HERO) at the level of the yellow code on September 12, according to a statement by the COO of PARA, Roberto Vicencio, DU1VHY. When coded yellow, stations are advised to ensure that all equipment is operational, verify backup power sources and take all necessary precautionary measures. For the first time, the Philippine National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) had authorized PARA / HERO volunteers to communicate directly with regional NTC offices during the impending emergency, rather than through NTC headquarters.

Typhoon Mangkhut was the strongest typhoon to hit Luzon Island since Typhoon Megi in 2010, and the strongest typhoon to make landfall in the Philippines since Super Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. A Category 4 storm on On the Saffir-Simpson scale, Mangkhut carried nearly 150 Winds MPH, with gusts of over 180 MPH as it approached a landing scheduled for September 14 on the far north of Luzon Island. The storm caused widespread destruction, with heavy damage to structures and caused landslides. More than 80 people lost their lives in the storm. Evacuations have been ordered in several areas. The storm then caused great damage in Hong Kong.

In the Philippines, volunteers Tonyo Casuga, DV1XND, and Aurell Rabena, DV1YMK, immediately activated the 24/7 PARA DX1PAR club station. The next day, DU1IVT, DU1VHY, DU1UGZ, DU1EIB and DU1GG were to leave for Cotabato City in Mindanao for a HERO orientation seminar. PARA Director and former COO Thelma Pascua, DU1IVT – who was due to travel to Mindanao for a HERO Orientation Seminar – stayed on site to oversee the activities of the HERO volunteers on 40 and 2 meters and to coordinate with the various offices. regional NTC. More than ten volunteers got involved.

Club station DX1ARC has its Echolink node activated, and Ronald Hernandez, DU2RD, has provided reports to HERO until September 15 or until phone and internet services start to return. Rollydel Tamin, 4F2RV, contributed to the Isabela Province reports.

When the storm brought gusts of wind and heavy rain to Metro Manila on the evening of September 14, HERO had a series of sustained recordings, with as many as 150 stations reported since activation began. According to HERO, the reports were also streamed over 2 meters in Metro Manila and neighboring areas, while affiliate clubs activated their own HERO networks and transmitted any reports they received on the frequency of HERO. emergency HERO. While HERO was activated, DU Net was called four times per day, outside of continuous weather reporting and surveillance of affected areas on 7.095 MHz.

In central Luzon, PARA District 3 Director, Edilberto, DU3JA, oversaw the activation of the Region 3 NTC station in San Fernando, Pampanga. The NTC regional offices in Region 1, CAR, Tuguegarao and Region 3 all coordinated with the HERO network on 7.095 MHz in addition to the regular net NTC frequency of 7.404 MHz, also staffed with amateur radio volunteers at NTC headquarters. The HERO reports included the state of telecommunications services and power supply in the affected areas, as well as reports on casualties, flooding, and health and welfare trafficking.

Several stations in less affected areas of Mindanao and the Visayas have supported HERO by acting as relay stations during times of poor propagation. HERO activity for Mangkhut (Ompong) ceased on September 16.

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