California Task Force 2 Headed to Japan

Less than 24 hours after their return to Los Angeles from earthquake rescue and recovery mission in New Zealand, the Los Angeles County (CA) Fire Department’s California Task Force 2 (CA-TF2) team has received an activation request from The United States Agency for International Development Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) to travel to Japan to assist the government with the massive rescue and recovery effort, following an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami, the worst to hit the country in 140 years and the fifth largest in the world. 

With more than 140 qualified Task Force members, a new 72-74 member Heavy Rescue Team, including a Swiftwater component, is now mobilizing to depart this evening and arrive in Japan early Sunday morning.

The earthquake’s effects are being felt throughout the Pacific region, closing beaches in Southern California in preparation for expected waves along the coast for the next 10-12 hours.  While coastal flooding and evacuations will not take place, County officials are prohibiting fishing, surfing and boating until further notice.

California Task Force 2 is a specially-trained heavy rescue team made up of Los Angeles County Fire Department firefighters and paramedics, along with emergency room physicians, structural engineers, heavy equipment specialists, hazardous materials technicians, and communications and logistics specialists, to assist with heavy rescue and recovery efforts on the ground. For further information, please contact Public Affairs at 323-881-2411.

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