[DX] VL: [dx_india] Delhi woman is Andaman's 'Angel of the Seas'
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[DX] VL: [dx_india] Delhi woman is Andaman's 'Angel of the Seas'

Radioamatoorien DXpedis muuttui tositoimiksi Andamaneilla. Alla juttu


-----Alkuperainen viesti-----
Lahettaja: ALOKESH GUPTA [mailto:alokeshgupta@xxxxxxxxxxx]
Lahetetty: 31. joulukuuta 2004 11:18
Vastaanottaja: dx_india@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Aihe: [dx_india] Delhi woman is Andaman's 'Angel of the Seas'

Delhi woman is Andaman's 'Angel of the Seas'
By Pratap Chakravarty in Port Blair
Friday, 31 December , 2004, 12:39

A Delhi woman in the Andaman islands has become the centre of a multi-nation
effort by ham operators to unite thousands of families separated by the
killer waves.
The Andamans account for about a third of India's reported death toll of
11,330 but thousands more are missing or have been separated from families
in the archipelago's 572 islands because of massive damage to harbours,
bridges and local ferry services. Killer wave hits Asia
A grateful Indian army is supporting 46-year-old Bharti Prasad with gear and
batteries as the Delhi-based housewife has networked ham operators across
the nations to reunite families and help in relief and rescue operations.
Ham radio buffs had not been permitted to operate in the Andamans since 1987
but the ban was lifted in November. Prasad was among the first to arrive to
help establish a radio footrprint in the string of islands near Thailand.
"We arrived here on December 15 to support Andamans as a radio country ...
Amatuer stations across the world wanted a footprint in these beautiful
islands," Prasad told AFP in the capital of Port Blair.
"I did not expect a disaster like this. It is no longer a game and now we
must help," Prasad said as her headset crackled with tsunami-related traffic
from a high-frequency radio band spanning three megahertz to 30 megahertz.
"When the tidal waves struck, we just turned the beacon towards India and
since then, we have been flooded with messages which we relay on local
telephone lines," she said.
"Hams have also advertised in newspapers asking people to get in touch with
us, and in that way, we are uniting families broken up by Sunday's waves,"
added Prasad. She has already handled around 30,000 emergency calls since
disaster struck the tropical paradise.
"The only thing I am now afraid of is our telephone bill," said Prasad.
Mothers were separated from their children and husbands from their wives in
the desperate scramble to escape the killer waves. Further chaos ensued when
rescuers randomly plucked survivors from islands and sent them to special
"I thought I had lost my family but soon an official told me that he had
received messages from a 'radio station' that all my relatives were safe in
Port Blair," said survivor Roby Dey in the devastated island of Car Nicobar.
The "radio station" was none other than Prasad, a military rescuer said in
Car Nicobar. Amateur stations in Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai
are now linked with Prasad and the network is growing beyond Indian
territory, said Suresh Babu, one of her five co-volunteers.
"Bharti, we are now on airnet. You take care. You are the Angel of the Seas.
Without you out there, rescue will halt," a voice from Indonesia crackled in
her hotel room, badly-damaged by Sunday's devastation.
Prasad and the other five ham operators now work round-the-clock from the
hotel room where erratic power and water supplies have added to their
"We are also helping the administration to streamline relief in Andamans as
well as serving as a broadband listening post for stray SOS signals," said
Prasad, a prominent member of the National Institute of Amateur Radio.


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