Mexico Earthquake & Winlink

On September 19th, 2017, a 7.1 magnitude Earthquake struck again in central Mexico about 100 Km from Mexico City. The last major earthquake in that region was 32 years ago, same date. There was wide spread damage and deaths in many surrounding areas.

Because of the outages to communications and basic infrastructure, Mexico's FRME, Federación Mexicana de Radioexperimentadores, A.C., activated their Red HF net along with Winlink capabilities. Mexico has 5 Winlink full service gateways, one in Mexico City itself. XE1VP gateway in Mexico City lost internet but continued to function via HF auto forwarding, normally to gateway N5TW in Texas. An example of Winlink use was at the collapse site at the Enrique Rebsamen School in Mexico City.

A mobile communication unit from the Guanajauto Radio Club (XE1CRG), was set up one block from the event, call sign XE1PRA. Internet was spotty or non existant and they used the Winlink network for sending and receiving email on HF with Pactor. 40 and 20 meter bands were used, (via an HF vertical), with most traffic going to XE1VP and XE2GJJ gateways. During the 24 hours, September 20 to 21, over 30 internet based emails were processed using Winlink Express from the site. Vehicle and team has secured and now left for home base.

More photos here

Here is the official message from XE2O, president of FMRE.

FMRE has activated the National Emergency Network operating in
extended mode because of the September 19th earthquake. Our operating
frequencies are on 80m 3.690, on 40m 7.060 and on 20m 14.120. FMRE is
collaborating with Mexico's Emergency Communications C5 Center.
In addition we have 2 mobile emergency stations, one located one Delegacion Xochimilco
with local authorities and the other one in Enrique Rebsamen Elementary School.
Both of the locations were extremely damaged because of the earthquake.

These mobile units have HF, VHF, UHF radios and WINKLINK HF communications.

The most recent information that we have, indicates that there are more
than 250 people are dead in this area and thousands of victims. 30 completely
collapsed buildings and many more damaged. The traffic of messages mainly has been referring
to the location of people in the area of Mexico City.

We appreciate the help provided by all domestic and international radio amateurs.

Our thoughts go to the victims and want to thank Mexico's visionary FMRE and its amateur radio operators, for great communications support.

Manager of FMRE Winlink Program
Member WDT

The comm van's Radio and Pactor modem
Inside view
Outside view
Winlink Linkomatic