PACOIMA (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles County Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue Team is deploying to Mexico to help with the recovery efforts in the aftermath of the devastating 7.1 magnitude earthquake that left hundreds of people dead.
The team, known as USA-2, is being deployed as part of the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team. It includes firefighters, engineers, emergency room physicians, paramedic rescue specialists and several other specialists.
On Wednesday morning, USA-2 was packing gear at its headquarters in Pacoima, awaiting official orders to head to the March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, from which it would fly down to Mexico.
There was also the chance that after USA-2 was deployed to Mexico, it could be sent to Puerto Rico to assist with recovery from Hurricane Maria.
USA-2 has been deployed by USAID 16 times to natural disasters since 1988. The latest was the 2015 Nepal earthquake.
The magnitude-7.1 earthquake struck at about 11:15 a.m. Pacific time Tuesday near the town of Raboso, about 76 miles southeast of Mexico City. The death toll has climbed to at least 225.