UK to send search and rescue experts to quake-ravaged Japan

The UK is sending a team of search and rescue experts to Japan.

Last Updated: Mar 12, 2011, 20:50 PM IST

London: The UK is sending a team of search and rescue experts to Japan after it sought Britain`s help in the aftermath of the strongest earthquake ever
recorded in the Asian nation that has left 1600 people dead or
unaccounted for.

The British government will dispatch a team of 59 fire
service search and rescue specialists, two rescue dogs and
medical support staff to join the international relief effort
in Japan, Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State International
Development, said.

The team will fly from Manchester airport later today
and travel directly to Japan as quickly as possible.

"The Japanese Government has appealed directly to us
for help. We will immediately dispatch a team to help Japan
search for survivors as quickly as possible," Mitchell said.

On arrival, they will immediately join the
international search for survivors and provide relief
materials to Japanese rescue teams.

The team will fly with 11 tonnes of rescue equipment,
including heavy lifting and cutting equipment to save the
lives of people who are trapped in debris.

Thousands of people are still unaccounted for in Japan
after the earthquake and tsunami devastated large parts of the
country.

Mitchell said: "Our thoughts are with the people of
Japan as they begin to recover from this terrible disaster.

The scale of widespread devastation is severe, leaving many
people unaccounted for and vast areas of the country
devastated."

Members of the UK`s search and rescue teams have
recently returned from the quake-hit Christchurch in New
Zealand and were previously deployed to Haiti and Indonesia.

PTI