SEMARA ARES activated an ARES Net at 950 AM Sunday for a little over 2 hours on the 147.000-Dartmouth Repeater, approximately 40 minutes after an earthquake, originally registered 4.2 on the Richter scale and revised down to 3.6 on the Richter scale occurred several miles offshore of New Bedford, Massachusetts. The earthquake was felt as far north as Southern New Hampshire and through much of Rhode Island through parts of Western and Central Massachusetts and Connecticut and the Long Island New York area.
Rob Macedo-KD1CY felt the earthquake at his home in New Bedford while checked into the New England Phone Net on HF on 3945 KHz. “I was checked in and monitoring the New England Phone Net where I heard 2 loud bangs as if someone was in my garage and had opened the garage doors and then had rattling and shaking that was fairly violent from what I’m used to in quakes I’ve felt in the past. After about 15-20 seconds total, it was over and after checking with an Amateur Radio SKYWARN Coordinator and friend from Rhode Island, N1EGS-John Buco, it was clear that we had an earthquake with information posted on the USGS web site. I immediately informed the New England Phone Net of what I experienced and ask for reports on who felt the quake.”
Very quickly things ramped up for a time from a public safety response perspective. Fire departments in New Bedford, Westport, Dartmouth and Fairhaven responded to possible gas leak issues at numerous homes in these communities. Information on posting what you felt during the earthquake was posted on the WX1BOX Facebook and Twitter feeds.
“We informed the National Weather Service within about 5 minutes of the incident that an earthquake had occurred and we were checking on damage reports and sent a report to the USGS via their form for the quake in question” Macedo said. Numerous reports on feeling the quake were fielded from the WX1BOX social media feeds. The Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association has a USGS seismograph and it measured this quake as well – see Cape Ann ARA Seismograph Detected Sunday’s Earthquake
At the suggestion of Mike “Sparky’ Leger-N1YLQ ARES DEC and Region 2 RACES Radio Officer, it was agreed to put up a formal ARES Net on the 147.000-Dartmouth Repeater for situational awareness and in case any needs arrived from partner agencies. From Sparky’s logs, 11 stations checked into the net which ran for a little over 2 hours. The net report is listed below:
N1YLQ-Sparky-Acushnet, MA (NCO)
KA1RSY-Ed-New Bedford, MA
KD1CY-Rob-New Bedford, MA
KC0AEO-South Dartmouth, MA
KC1FOZ-Al-South Westport, MA
KC1ISZ-New Bedford, MA
N1IXC-Joe-South Dartmouth, MA
KB1UAM-Anthony-New Bedford, MA
Three confirmed damage reports were received on Crapo Street in the city of New Bedford as relayed by Acushnet Emergency Management Deputy Director, KA1RSY-Ed Caron and KD1CY-Rob Macedo. Three homes sustained damage to the chimney smokestack area near gas mains inside of the residences and were evacuated with 20 people being temporarily displaced. Red Cross was involved in caring for these residents. This information was relayed to the National Weather Service and the minor damage reports were include in the NWS Boston/Norton Earthquake Report. Joe Krisnosky-N1IXC, who is part of New Bedford EMA, forwarded pictures of the damage from New Bedford EMA Director, Brian Nobrega.
“This is an example of ARES in action to provide rapid and precise situational awareness for use by other agencies. In this case, it was the USGS and the National Weather Service” Macedo said.