Tuesday, February 14, 2012

RNW Madagascar relay off the air following tropical cyclone

Today a category 4 tropical cyclone (Giovanna) crossed the island of Madagascar. The road from the capital city to our relay station is a mud stream right now and lower parts of the Island are flooded. Schools and businesses are closed.

First reports mention a lot of damage. We lost the roofs from two small buildings including the high voltage area. So this forced us to close down the operation this morning completely because of the massive rain showers. Four antennas and two satellite dishes are damaged and need to be repaired. Fortunately the transmitter building was not damaged and luckily none of our team was injured. Also our office in Antananarivo in Ivandry had some damage and we lost our wireless link from the office to the station. Communication with the station is difficult.

Tomorrow at daylight we can exactly assess the damage and start repairing. We expect to be on air with the most important services at 1300 UTC. We’ve been in contact with all clients. IBB, DWL and Vatican will try to cover from their own sites.
(Source: Rocus de Joode, RNW Programme Distribution/R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)