FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — Dozens of members of Virginia Task Force 1 (VA-TF1/USA-1) who prepared to head to Turkey and Syria Monday after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated parts of the countries, leaving thousands of people dead and others missing, were on their way Tuesday morning.
The task force tweeted at 3:31 p.m. Monday that the deploying team would consist of 79 people and six dogs. Together, they were considered a heavy urban search and rescue team.
USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, which handles international deployments of the task force under the name USA-1, noted in its own tweet that the earthquake that hit southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria was the worst one in that region in nearly a century. The bureau said it was working to identify needs in addition to providing search and rescue capabilities.
At 7:12 a.m. Tuesday, VATF-1 updated the status of the team through a tweet, thanking several groups, including the crew at Dover Air Force Base for helping team members get on their way.