Lightning cripples radio station

National, Normal

The National, Monday July 1st, 2013


A LIGHTNING strike last Thursday has put the National Broadcasting Corporation radio service in Western Highlands off air.

The station’s transmitter is beyond repair, affecting the internet, fax, the console used for broadcasting and computers, station manager Jacob Kaka said.

Eagle FM senior programme officer Stanley Piel narrowly escaped the lightning strike as he was preparing programmes in the studio.

Kaka said the damage was serious and he was not sure when service would be restored, describing it as “permanent.”

He said the station was still recovering from a lightning strike in 2010 and last week’s strike had compounded their problems.

“The internet, console, computers and fax have all been disrupted so I think this problem cannot be solved soon,” he said.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. It is beyond our control and we need the assistance from the NBC technical team.

“In the meantime we may try to use some temporary lines from NBC national radio.”

Kaka said the transmitter tower had been built with funding from the Japanese International Co-operation Agencies (JICA).

He said the station would have played a major role in the local level government elections but without radio services people would not know what was happening during the elections.

The station served parts of Enga, Southern Highlands, Jiwaka and Chimbu apart from Western Highlands.