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10 July 2011

HAMNET News: 10 July 2011

The country of Nepal was in the news the last few weeks due to massive flooding caused by the annual monsoon rains which began the last week of June.

Although amateur radio contacts to Nepal may be few and far between, the country is perched extremely high in the mountains bordering India and China and is often in the news for more political reasons than flooding!

Damage to 14 districts was mainly in the Terai lowlands which was most affected resulting in 25 deaths and 4 people injured. According to the Red Cross Society of Nepal, another six deaths were reported in the Kaski district and two more people are missing.

The rains damaged roads which obstructed transport in getting relief supplies to the affected areas. Telephone and electricity supplies were also interrupted in many areas.

The Koshi River running at 146,000 cubic metres per second were just 4000 cusecs below the recognised danger level So far no people have been displaced or buildings damaged but the situation is being monitored and action will be taken should the river rise any further.

Locally, cold and wet weather continued and many parts of the Eastern Cape being severely affected with flooding in Port Elizabeth and East London. We received many photographs taken of both the Swartkops and Nahoon rivers in full spate. Very unseasonal and one wonders if this is yet another sign of the change in climate due to earth warming!

The cold will continue in the coming week with more rain expected in the Gauteng Province and possibly some other Provinces.

Hamnet will be on standby on our usual emergency frequencies during the day on 7,110 MHz in the 40M band and 3,760 MHz in the 80M band late afternoons and early evening for any possible traffic.

Reporting for Hamnet, this is Francois Botha, ZS6BUU.