Sunday May 03, 2015

Crisis, communication and Nepal

Jamna Pariar, 22, after she learnt about the death of her nine-day-old daughter following Saturday's earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 29, 2015.

Jamna Pariar, 22, after she learnt about the death of her nine-day-old daughter following Saturday's earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 29, 2015. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)

Listen 5:48

In the aftermath of a natural disaster, communication is crucial. But what happens when internet access is down as happened in the aftermath of the earthquake in Nepal?

Esha Thapa is the Executive Director of SIRC, a spinal injury rehabilitation centre in Sangha, Nepal. Esha says that in the days following the earthquake, the telephone network and mobile internet access were crucial for staying in touch.

Mobile internet access is one way of staying connected, but when the internet and other communications systems are down, many people still turn to...ham radio. Nepalese amateur radio operators have been active on local VHF and UHF frequencies there and radio amateurs around the world are working to relay emergency messages.

Greg Mossup is an Emergency Communications Coordinator for the International Amateur Radio Union. He says ham radio is considered to be vital in a disaster situation where communication with the outside world is difficult.