Natural Disasters, Technical Rescue, USAR

California Task Force Rescues

Issue 9 and Volume 163.

By Larry Collins When the earth buckled and the island nation of Haiti suffered an unprecedented catastrophe on January 12, 2010, locating survivors deeply entombed beneath the rubble of collapsed structures became a primary consideration. Nowhere was the need for USAR capabilities more urgent than in Haiti, where 150 deeply entombed survivors were eventually rescued by USAR teams from the United States and other nations. Experienced rescuers and disaster responders recognized telltale signs of a calamity. Within minutes, the U.S. Geological Survey reported a shallow, magnitude 7.0 earthquake within nine miles of Port-au-Prince. CNN was quickly airing video filmed from inside an airliner on the tarmac at the Port-au-Prince airport looking out over the city, which appeared to have been obliterated by a tremendous black-brown dust cloud that could only have been caused by thousands of structures collapsing at the same time. In the aftermath of the deadliest disaster in…

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