Martti Karimies, 68-year old radio enthusiast in Finland, catching Palau's T8AA radio frequency, Ngerel Belau and enjoying Palauan music near the arctic circle.

(eds: updated 6/11/2023)

Over 6,362 miles or 10,238 km away in Lapland, Northern Finland, Martti Karimies, a 68-year-old retired sales director with an affinity for radio, sits, relaxing and listening to Bayano(Silver) belting out the “Kelkall” on the 1584 kHz Ngerel Belau AM Radio.

In an email to Palau T8AA, Mr. Karimies expressed his pleasure and enjoyment in being able to pick up the radio waves that far away, “where reindeer and Santa Claus live”, he said.

“I was just listening to my audio files from the 29th of March 2023 and found Voice of Palau on 1584 kHz. That day there was a fine radio propagation to South Korea, Japan and Australia and I heard a lot of radio stations from these areas. Today I recognized Island music on 1584 on which frequency I had never earlier heard that type of music. I know that Voice of Palau got last year new 5 kW transmitter, but I didn’t believe to be able to hear you with so good signal level. It was an enjoyment for me to listen to that relaxing music for the first time in my life,” said Karimies in an email to Palau public radio, T8AA – Ngerel Belau.

Rondy Ronny, Acting Chief of the Division of Media and Information, Ministry of State, said he was surprised and excited when they received the email.

“I think having a global reach is powerful and can serve as a window to more opportunities for Palauans. Reaching audiences through social media is a new venture for Palauan media, so this comes as a shock hearing that we could reach a wider audience just with our AM tower. This further proves that radio will never die! We at Ngerel Belau are excited about this news and will use this to strengthen our efforts in serving all the communities in Palau through all our means of communication.”

The new AM Radio tower with new AM radio equipment were made possible through SUPA Grant from UN for Climate Change Adaptations. The AM radio upgrade ensures that in times of disaster, everyone, including those in outlying States of Palau such as Sonsorol, Hatohobei, Kayangel, Peleliu and Angaur, can receive timely life-saving information during disasters.

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