In the wake of the April 16 earthquake in Ecuador, the Amateur Radio community is being asked to keep 7.060 MHz clear for “Cadena HC” emergency traffic. DXpeditions operating RTTY on 40 meters are requested to keep pileups below 7.060 MHz. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake has resulted in dozens of deaths and many more injuries.
Most earthquake damage has occurred in the Guayaquil (HC2) and Portoviejo/Manta (HC4) areas of Ecuador. Well-known DXer Lilian de Ayala, HC4L, in Portoviejo — the capital of Manabi province — is safe, but some structures in Portoviejo and Manta suffered severe damage, with many victims reported to have been buried in the rubble of collapsed buildings and homes. Electrical power and commercial telecommunication systems have been either destroyed or knocked out in the affected area, and hams in the HC4 district have been operating by using mobile stations or battery power. Many roads have been rendered impassable because of earthquake rubble.
The Cadena HC emergency frequency is now active and running 24 hours per day on 7.060 LSB. Hams in Ecuador have been reported very busy coordinating search-and-rescue activities.