Western Cape Team Joining Search and Rescue Effort in Japan
The Department of Foreign Affairs has requested Rescue South Africa to dispatch a team to assist with the disaster in Japan. The team leader and more than half of the team members are from the Western Cape and this is the first time a Western Cape team has participated in such an initiative. The team is leaving from Waterkloof Airforce Base today and consists of 40 people, including urban search and rescue specialists, canine rescue specialists, logistics experts and four medical doctors.
The team is being led by Colin Deiner, Chief Director of Disaster Management and Fire Brigade Services and Head of the Western Cape Provincial Disaster Management Centre. This tour marks the seventh time that Deiner leads a South African rescue team on a foreign disaster response. He has previously led teams to Turkey, India, Algeria, Pakistan and Haiti.
The team is expected to arrive in Japan on Tuesday and will conduct a rescue operation under the command of the United Nations on-site Operations Centre for the next ten days. They will be involved in search and rescue, victim recovery, damage assessment, medical care and humanitarian assistance to affected people.
Anton Bredell, Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning said, "The people of the Western Cape express their deepest sympathies and wish the team every success."
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