Date : 01 / 09 / 2017
Author : Jim Linton – VK3PC
Monsoon rains in India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh over the past month has according to the UN affected 41 million people, and left an estimated 1,200 dead. The latest on the subcontinent was on Tuesday August 29 when the rain, the worst in decades, flooded the Mumbai and Pune areas with immediate action by local HAMS helping out during the adverse weather. All traffic was disrupted, even local trains and buses were submerged and unable to move. Children stranded in a school were left hungry and the electricity also went off.
Satish Shah VU2SVS and Ankur Puranik VU2AXN and 50 HAMS involved arranging food and power for the school. The HAMs of Mumbai were in touch with each other, even those who don’t have a VHF transceiver. The ‘ZELLO app’ was used to connect those without suitable radio equipment to interface with a VHF HAM radio frequency. Many workers were stranded in their offices or at railway stations until midnight. Looking after the central railway in Mumbai were the Bharat Scouts & Guides that had undergone previous disaster communication training.
The recent rain is likely to remain for a while, with schools and offices closed. All the HAMs are kept on alert by government and local bodies should their communications be needed.
– Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee with Jayu S. Bhide VU2JAU National Coordinator for Disaster Communication in India