FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — A Virginia search and rescue team has arrived in Haiti to help with relief efforts following Saturday’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake, which has left hundreds dead and thousands without homes.
According to Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency, by Sunday, Aug. 15, 1,297 people had been counted as dead. In addition, at least 5,700 people are reportedly injured while thousands more are displaced.
Virginia Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue — which is sponsored by the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department — announced on Sunday plans to deploy to Haiti as part of USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Assistance Response Team.
The task force says a team of 65 rescue professionals left that same day, taking four search canines to Haiti with them.
The team also brought 26 tons of specialized rescue tools — such as hydraulic concrete breaking equipment, saws, torches, and drills — and advanced medical equipment
On Sunday night, the task force announced that the team had landed safely in Haiti, but still faces challenges as they begin search and rescue operations.