US sends disaster specialists to Mexico following earthquake

US sends disaster specialists to Mexico following earthquake
© Getty Images

The U.S. government has sent a team of disaster specialists to Mexico to help with the recovery efforts after an earthquake delivered a devastating blow to America's southern neighbor.

USAID Administrator Mark Green said Thursday that the agency has deployed one of its six Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs), which includes 67 people who are heavily equipped with tools and canines, as well as experts with "specialized training" in search and rescue efforts.

ADVERTISEMENT

"These teams arrive with over 62,000 pounds of specialized tools and medical equipment to conduct around-the-clock search and rescue operations. They will be working closely with Mexican disaster authorities to help rescue earthquake survivors and assess structures for earthquake damage," Green during a briefing with reporters.

Green said that having six DARTs stationed around the world helping with recovery efforts has reached is nearly unprecedented. He said that 2015 was the last time so many teams were active. 
 
One team is assisting with hurricane-relief efforts in the Caribbean after powerful storms Harvey, Irma and Maria ripped through the region within a short span of time. Others are helping with stabilization efforts in Syria and Iraq after clearing out the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
 
"As we help our neighbors in Mexico and the Caribbean, I want to make clear that America is and will remain the world’s leading humanitarian donor. Whether it’s responding to an earthquake, drought or conflict, America is committed to standing shoulder to shoulder with people in their hour of need," Green said.
 
The 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Mexico City on Tuesday, toppling buildings and taking the lives of more than 200 people. It is the second earthquake to strike the country this month.
 
Mexico had originally volunteered to send supplies and help with relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey brought swelling waters that displaced thousands of people from their homes late last month.
 
But after an 8.1 magnitude earthquake rocked southern Mexico earlier this month, the government withdrew its offer so it could focus emergency services for the millions of people in need of assistance in its own country.