FW: [TrojanARC] Andaman Islands - tsunami

Pratt, Frank Frank_Pratt at sra.com
Wed Dec 29 07:42:28 CST 2004

 Here is an interesting message regarding a DXpedition in the tsunami area.


Skip Pratt

-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Frahm K0BJ [mailto:bfrahm at colby.ixks.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2004 10:50 PM
To: TrojanARC at yahoogroups.com
Cc: Janice Frahm
Subject: [TrojanARC] Andaman Islands - tsunami

Some of you have heard about or worked the Andaman Islands VU4 DXpedition.
Bernie W3UR of the Daily DX has granted blanket permisison to forward Andaman condition reports. I thought you would find this interesting.  I got it too late to be QRV for the Today Show story.....

Below is an update from K4VUD, Charley, who is now in Bangkok, Thailand.
For those of you in the United States you will get an opportunity to see and hear a first hand account of Charley's story of the VU4 DXpedition Tuesday December 28th between 7:00 and 8:00 AM EST.  Yes Charley will be interviewed by NBC and shown on the Today Show.  Once we have the exact times from producer Sandy Rivera I will post them.  Feel free to pass this on to your Amateur Radio friends.  This should be great exposure as to the benefits of Amateur Radio!  Find a blank video tape and be ready.

Bernie, W3UR

Hello DXers...

Dec. 27 at 2300 Z

Hey, a whole lotta shakin' goin' on.  Sorry to be out of touch for a while, but the phone service and thus email service went out with the first quake on Andaman, VU4.  This is my first minute to get to a reliable email service.

1.  Morning after Xmas, I was resting from sleep and thinking about what to do that coming day when my bed started to quiver like a large train was coming by.  Then, the room started to rock about when I stood up.  Walking and standing were difficult,bottles were faling off the shelves, and my fifth floor room floor felt like rubber.  I got braced within the bathroom door until things settled down.  Then, I found my pants and shirt and ran, shoes in hand, down the stairs and joined everyone else from the hotel in the open out front.  Bharathi was already safely outside there.  She was on the air at the time, but quickly figured out what was hapening and got out.

2.  There were extra holiday guests at the hotel.  Various groups formed, and I sat with some English speakers at a table in the hotel garden.  I noted to all who would listen that a BIG WAVE would come with an ocean quake.  We were, by then, drinking tea and looking down on the ocean from about 80 feet above high tide.  The sea rapidly turned brown near us, but there was no real surge.  As the day went on and 8 to 10 more small tremors came and went, several of us took quick runs to our rooms to get necessities.  The radios were left in the room.  The roof antennas showed no signs of damage at all.

3.  As the other team members came to our hotel, we learned of the big wave that hit the water front in Port Blair.  Saraha had taken some videos there with the water still about a foot deep over the street that fronted the ocean.  All team members were very OK.

4.  In the immediate Port Blair area, four people died (one from landing on his head as he dove out his home window seeking escape), the local newspaper reported.

5.  Port Blair and all but 4 of its citizens escaped serious damage.  Most of you have now seen the video of the real damage that occurred in other places around the Indian Ocean rim... very bad for people and property.

6.  By that afternoon, the team had set up one rig outside with a mobile whip and tuner...powered by the Hotel generator... and Bharathi was taking health and welfare messages from the people standing around there.  Many wanted to tell relatives on the Indian mainland that they were ok, and Bharathi established contact with many India ham stations in various cities as needed.  Traffic was being passed.  She told my wife in Thailand that I was ok via contact with an HS station who passed the message by telephone in Thailand.... very nice to be a ham !

7. The team got cots from the hotel and, along with most others, slept out in the open that night.  I slept fitfully near the lobby door on a couch inside, reasoning rightly this time, that the worst was over.

8.  I will have more reports later, but the main news for ham radio is THE TEAM IS COMPLETELY OK AND SAFE.  They have suspended normal DXpedition operations while helping out with health and welfare messages and whatever other duties may have come to them after I departed Port Blair vy early this morning (as I was originally scheduled to do).  I suspect they will go back to DXpedition work soon because Port Blair escaped the worst damage and the after shocks apparantly have also stopped.

Thanks for all the good wishes.  73 for now,

Charles Harpole
k4vud at hotmail.com

-   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
Bruce Frahm  KØBJ

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