Firefighters arrive in earthquake zone to aid rescue efforts
A team serving West Midlands Fire Service has arrived in Morocco to support rescue efforts following a devastating earthquake.
The brigade is the incident deployment hub for a total 60-strong team UK International Search and Rescue. Among them is a seven-strong team based at fire stations in the region.
They landed in the north African country in the early hours on Monday.
It is feared that the death toll of more than 2,000 could rise still further as the country braces for aftershocks from the 6.8 magnitude quake which hit on 8 September.
West Midlands Fire Service Chief Fire Officer Wayne Brown said: “Our thoughts are with all in Morocco affected by this devastating earthquake, as well as with the responders who are dedicated to rescuing survivors.
“As always, we are extremely grateful to and proud of our UK ISAR members for answering the call, and for their families’ support. The team’s health and wellbeing is paramount, and we will give them all possible support during this deployment.”
His deputy Jo Bowcock met with the team before they flew out to Morocco to wish them well on behalf of the service.
UK ISAR offered support and started to plan their mission immediately after the earthquake struck. They were deployed once the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s offer of help was accepted on Sunday.
The brigade's UK ISAR hub will provide a vital link between the team in Morocco, their families and fire and rescue services.
In February this year, a team were among those deployed to Turkey following an earthquake followed by Malawi in southern Africa which was hit by devastating floods.