US search and rescue experts arrive in Mexico after deadly earthquake

PHOTO: A special team from USAIDs Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and from the Los Angeles County Fire Department arrived in Mexico City to help in the earthquake recovery on Sept. 21, 2017. Play@theOFDA/Twitter
WATCH Rescuers search for survivors after Mexico earthquake

A team of American experts is in Mexico to assist with search and rescue efforts following the deadly earthquake that devastated the country's capital city Tuesday.

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Sixty-seven people and five dogs landed in Mexico Thursday morning, along with 62,000 pounds of specialized tools and medical equipment, to conduct around-the-clock rescue missions and help assess the damage.

The group is made up of members from USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance as well as an urban search and rescue team from the Los Angeles County Fire Department, according to a statement from acting USAID Spokesperson Clayton McCleskey.

LAFD personnel are from what is known as the "heavy" team and are specially trained to deal with significant disasters involving collapsed buildings, USAID administrator Mark Green said in a briefing today.

The team's arrival coincides with a sad anniversary; experts from the same division were also dispatched to Mexico after the deadly 1985 quake that killed thousands.

PHOTO: There were 67 experts and five dogs dispatched to Mexico City on Sept. 21, 2017 @Chief PentSpox/Twitter
There were 67 experts and five dogs dispatched to Mexico City on Sept. 21, 2017

On today's trip, the team is bringing with them specialized equipment and expertise that they pioneered and developed after responding to that quake 32 years ago.

The team was sent after a formal request was made by the Mexican government, McCleskey said, adding that "the United States remains committed to helping our neighbors during this difficult time."

The USAID/LAFD team is carefully coordinating with their Mexican partners to make sure they're in the right place at the right time, Green added.

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