WASHINGTON, D.C. - 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."
USAID will continue to provide additional support as needed.
For more information about USAID's emergency humanitarian assistance programs, please visit: www.usaid.gov/what-we-do/working-crises-and-conflict.
Last updated: February 27, 2015