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Hungarian Students Respond to Disaster

KHH Híszolgálat seeking extension for temporary license

Three days after a storage reservoir at an aluminum company burst, flooding the town of Devecser, Hungary, with toxic mud in early October, several community radio stations pitched in to form Közös Hullámhossz Hírszolgálat.

KHH Hírszolgálat, a temporary emergency radio station, initially launched without a license in Ajka and later in Devecser.

The station is now run by media students from Pázmány Péter Katolikus Egyetem, a Catholic university, under a temporary license. The students are editing and reading newscasts, collecting interviews and broadcasting live local events working 20 hours a day despite frequent problems, ranging from Internet dropouts to power failures.

The first temporary license for the station expired on 21 November, but KKH Hírszolgálat is looking for a one-month extension because the state of emergency remains in effect in Veszprém county.

Local programs are produced at temporary studios in the Devecser parish church; the station antenna is atop the church belltower. Other programs originate from the studios of Best Rádió in Ajka.