The Earthquake

H,There can be, at this time, no more topical or important subject than the calamitous earthquake that has almost razed to the ground the towns of Napier and Hastings. The day of February 3rd, 1931, will remain for Eong a day of grief and consternation for the country as a whole, even as for years the date '79 A.D/ was significant for the annihilation of the cities of Hercula-neum and Pompeii by Vesuvius."

So went the editorial from Break-in for the month of February. "1931. It goes on to extol the feats of two loca: Hawkes Ray amateur radio enthusiasts from Napier and Hastings who were able to transmit messages to the outside world of the tragedy of thai day. ZL2GÉ {George Tyler') and ZL2BE (Jim Mills) provided the oniy communications links with places outside the earthquake-affected area in those early few hours after the first shocks at 10:50 that morning.

There were some other radio stations on board ships in the harbor which were able lo call for help, too, but the amateur stations were operating from the centers of the two stricken cities Both stations were battery operated and had contact with other amateur stations. Early in the emergency, the New Zealand Post and Telegraph Department requisitioned The amateur stations at Napier and Hastings as well as an amateur station in Wellington so that there were communications links available for emergency traffic in the first 24 hours after the calamity and until the telegraph and telephone lines were repaired and normal communications were restored.

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