Radio amateurs in the flood-stricken Indian state of Kerala are helping with rescue operations there, in part by tracing stranded people through their last mobile phone locations and sharing information with officials. Most telecommunication services in Kerala remain down. Accounts vary, but some 120 hams — and perhaps as many as 300 — have been working 24/7 to support official rescue operations.
“Kerala has been hit by the worst flooding and landslides in 100 years, with six districts and neighboring areas submerged in 7 to 15 feet of water that has spilled over from nearby rivers,” Suwil Wilson, VU2IT, told ARRL. “One million people are in relief camps, and more than 300 people are dead. Power and mobile communication in the affected areas are cut off.”
Wilson said he coordinated the statewide response, which has been managed by individuals without the involvement of any ham radio organization in India.