After the devastating explosion in Lebanon’s capital city of Beirut on Tuesday, a Dutch search and rescue team USAR has arrived to help extract survivors from the rubble.
The death toll currently stands at 135 people, with 5,000 wounded. But many remain missing and for those still breathing beneath the rubble, time is running out.
USAR landed in Lebanon at 01:15 Dutch time this morning in response to Lebanon’s call for international assistance, reports USAR.NL. The 64 team members were tested for coronavirus immediately. A spokesperson confirmed that the team was also tested before departure in Eindhoven, says NOS.
Supported by eight rescue dogs, the USAR team consists of volunteers from Dutch fire brigades, police, engineers and healthcare workers. Their first task will be to search the destroyed area before making contact with French rescue workers and Lebanese authorities.
@USARNL onderweg nu met oa 8 speurhonden van de politie. De honden worden ingezet om op moeilijk bereikbare plekken, ingestort gebouw( Beton) heeft vaak manshoge ruimte waar mensen vast kunnen zitten, te bereiken. De hond kan daar via via wel komen en ruiken of er mensen zijn. pic.twitter.com/Sl9Axks2xH
— USAR.NL (@USARNL) August 5, 2020
USAR is classified by the United Nations as a Heavy Team used for complex rescue operations. They have previously been deployed for aiding in disasters such as the earthquake in Nepal five years ago.
Supplies followed the team on a transport aircraft from Eindhoven, including concrete saws, microphones, cameras, water and food. They are fully equipped to free victims trapped under concrete, steel and wood, and to provide them with necessary medical care and relief upon rescue.
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Feature Image: USAR/USAR.nl