Sunday, March 13, 2011

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

This has been a sad weekend for journalists and news
announcers such as I.  The 8.9 magnitude earthquake
that devasted eastern Honshu Island, Japan affected
the entire Pacific Rim, including Hawaii.  On the Big
Island, 2 home were washed into the sea at Napoopoo
Village (on the west side) and more than 50 businesses
in the Kailu-Kona area suffered damage.  The popular
Kailua-Kona pier, which serves as the drop off point
for cruise ship visitors was damaged and will be closed
pending a full inspection by the state Department of Land
and Natural Resources. Thankfully, no one was killed or
injured seriously.  Damage on Hawaii Island will run into
the millions.

Most of the station staff spent Thursday night and all day
Friday covering the event, since our location was out of
the tsunami inundation zone.  All evacuations were carried
out smoothly by 0200 Friday time.  During our 12 hours of
continuous coverage, we became the focal point for informaton
to local residentws.  The station had a person assigned to the
local civil defense office to relay official information to those of
us working the studio lines.  Local amateur radio operators, the
Civil Air Patrol, and the National Guard rendered valuable backup
assistance.  After 12-hour coverage and the necessary after incident
reporting, our small staff was pretty tired.  I stayed around to issue
final reports before heading back to the qth for some much needed
rest.

The assessment phase has begun with the American Red Cross and
Hawaii County Civil Defense leading the effort.  The news room will\
provide information as it is received.  The American Red Cross has
issued an appeal for help in Japan relief efforts.  If you care to donate
to the relief effort, go to http://www.redcross.org/.  The death toll in Japan is
nearing 10,000 (killed and missing)--a figure that may increase over the
next few days.  We're also keeping an eye on a nuclear power plant that\
may experience further problems.  All told, this was not a good day for
humanity.  I really don't enjoy reporting such news, but you work with
the hand you are dealt--whether it be good news or bad. 

As you might expect, I didn't spend too much time at the home station.
Most of my time (plus a few overnights) was spent in the news room
monitoring the pace of recovery and issuing news bulletins as warranted.

Try to have a good weekend...help in the relief effort if you can.

Aloha es 73 de KH6JRM