Immediately following the disaster at the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam in Attapeu province, southern Laos – which occurred on July 23 – Hytera’s office in Laos swung into action and had emergency communication systems ready for deployment by the rescue operations by July 26, should they be required.

The collapse of the partially constructed hydroelectric dam caused five billion cubic metres to flood the surrounding countryside, destroying thousands of homes and resulted in the deaths of an unknown number of people – hundreds of people are still unaccounted for. This destroyed thousands of homes, resulted in the deaths of an unknown number of people – hundreds of people are still unaccounted for.

Around 7pm on July 27th, BlueSky Rescue (BSR) in Laos confirmed that the local communications network in the disaster area was insufficient to provide the level of support needed for front-line rescue operations. BSR contacted Hytera for an immediate communications solution to support relief efforts and ensure the safety of rescue personnel.

Following in-depth coordination with BSR, Hytera engineers prepared several communication plans that were designed to handle any number of scenarios and variations that emergency teams might encounter during rescue operations. Hytera then coordinated transportation efforts to send the equipment to the BSR command center located in the disaster area to ensure the equipment arrived on-site as quickly as possible.

By the afternoon of July 29, the radio communications equipment needed for rescue operations (40 DMR PD78X handsets) reached BSR’s command center, having being transported with local government relief supplies from Vientiane (Laos’ capital) – a distance of more than 1,000 kilometres. A repeater system had been configured and set up on site before the radios arrived, providing vital support to on-site communications for rescue forces.

Hytera has previously provided support to the emergency relief efforts that responded to the Japan Tsunami in 2011, the Nepal Earthquake in 2015, the floods in Myanmar in 2016 and Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas in 2017.

Author: Sam Fenwick