Nepal Earthquake: The Current Radio Scene in Nepal

Recent news items inform us that the Himalayan country of Nepal has undergone another disastrous earthquake, this time at a magnitude of 5.6.  Significant damage and several deaths were reported in the quake which struck a sparsely populated area of far western Nepal in November (2022).

The tremors lasted about 10 seconds and were felt as far distant as Delhi in India.  Government agencies in Nepal conducted a search and rescue operation in the isolated area where regular communications are not readily available.

The most disastrous earthquake ever to hit Nepal occurred seven years ago (2015) at a magnitude of 7.8 which resulted in massive damage and the death of at least 9,000 people.

A Map of Nepal Radio Stations based off Infoasaid research from 2011. Published on by John Warnes on Google My Maps.

The current radio scene in Nepal indicates that the most significant form of radio coverage in Nepal is achieved by more than 500 FM stations; government owned, commercial, and community stations. Programming is on the air in a multitude of local and regional languages, and also in English, Hindi and Urdu for wide area coverage.  Off air relays in several languages from the BBC in London are also heard on some FM stations.

For a few years beginning back in 2007, a commercial company known in English as Antenna Foundation Nepal operated a small mobile FM station under the title Radio Doko.  This low powered mobile station with an output of just 30 watts provided its own generator power and it was usually deployed for one week at a time for special local events and emergencies.

Read more about Doko Radio in this article in DREAMS Magazine.

In addition to the multitude of FM stations throughout the landlocked mountainous country, Radio Nepal is still operating a network of six mediumwave stations mostly at 100 kW each, that provide nationwide coverage.  These stations are located at :-

100 kW StationsKathmandu792 kHz
10 kW StationsDipayal810

Radio Nepal issued this shortwave QSL card in 1994.
© Chris Mackerell Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation.

Radio Nepal no longer broadcasts its programming from any of the previously operated shortwave stations.  However back in April 2001, ORF in Vienna Austria carried a relay on shortwave on behalf of the Nepali community in London England.  Four times each week, Radio Everest was on the air with an hour long broadcast in the Nepali language for which QSL cards were issued. 

ORF at Moosbrunn carried this relay broadcast with 100 kW on 7235 kHz.  However in January of the following year 2002, the special relay broadcast came to an end due to lack of funding.

This feature was written by Adrian Peterson and originally aired on Adventist World Radio’s “Wavescan” DX program of January 15, 2023

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