Local rescue team in Japan

16 March 2011, 08:43

A team of search and rescue experts from Hampshire have set up base in Japan with the rest of the UK team.

Four fire and rescue experts from Hampshire Fire and Rescue are assisting the rescue effort in Japan in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami.

The 63-strong UK-ISAR team has taken 8 tonnes of specialist rescue equipment with them, including heavy lifting and cutting equipment to rescue people who are trapped in the debris.

The team have set up their base in a school in Sumita, north Japan, near Ofunato, along with teams from the United States.

This is in an area 20km outside of the city area that has been assessed as being completely safe from any further aftershocks or tsunamis.

200 Urban Search and Rescue experts from the UK and the US have been hard at work in the search and rescue operation in the city of Ofunato, Japan. 

Yesterday morning the full team was deployed to the centre of the disaster zone in Ofunato where they cleared a large industrial district and residential area.  Although bodies were recovered, no survivors have been found so far.

It should take around two days for the team to complete the search of the town before moving on to another area.

Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development said:
 
"We are all be proud of the UK's search and rescue experts, who are doing a great job under tough conditions.  They are working alongside Japanese colleagues to give much-needed help and support to that country in its time of dire need."

Stay with Heart for updates on the team's work and the situation in Japan.