US Disaster Assistance Team Deploys to NZ Earthquake

Via the USAID press shop:

In response to the earthquake in New Zealand and upon request from the New Zealand government, the United States is deploying a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART). The Response Team will include the Los Angeles County (California) Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue team (USAR) to assist with the search and rescue efforts.

The USAR component of the DART will be what is called a “heavy team,” bringing more than seventy specialized personnel and all necessary equipment to make live rescues in even the most precarious situations.

“On behalf of the American people, I wish to convey our sympathy, thoughts and prayers to the people of New Zealand who have been affected by this devastating earthquake,” said USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. “We stand ready to assist the government of New Zealand in any way we can.

The US Ambassador to New Zealand, David Huebner who departed Christchurch with a CODEL before the earthquake is tweeting here. His partner, Dr. McWaine also tweets here.

Check out the US Embassy New Zealand web page here for Christchurch Earthquake and Resources.  More about the 6.3 earthquake from the USGS here.

Map from CIA World Factbook/Regional Map

FS blogger and EFM, Noble Glomads was in Christchurch during the quake.  Amy also posted a brief video of the earthquake on behalf of Adrian in Life in the Land of the Long White Cloud with the following note:

“Adrian won’t be blogging today. His computer is under the rubble that was his hotel. You will have to make due with my amteur attempts. Adrian is safe after getting evacuated to Aukland late last night. I was able to get on a C130 earlier to Wellington. We are both shaken up but unhurt. Some video I managed to take from where I was standing when the quake hit.”