U.S. Military Helicopters Evacuate Earthquake Victims in Costa Rica
By Dialogo January 14, 2009Wow! Really this post is interesting,I always appreciate such type of posts, I think the work done by the author is really great. Thanks for this information. Four helicopters and 34 service members from Joint Task Force-Bravo, Honduras, are deployed here at the request of the Costa Rican government to provide life-saving support to victims of a recent 6.2 magnitude earthquake that struck near San Jose. The task force began flying search and rescue missions Saturday in coordination with the Costa Rican National Emergency Commission, or CNE, a government agency comprised of 150 experts designated to respond to natural disasters. The crews evacuated 90 people, including two wounded victims, in the vicinity of San Miguel on Saturday and continued their search for victims Sunday. "CNE is completely organized and working like a well-oiled machine to help victims of the earthquake," said Army Maj. Nilda Toro, JTF-Bravo director of Civil Military Operations deployed here. "Of all the disaster response missions I´ve worked in two years at JTF-Bravo, this is the best and most organized thanks to the professionals at CNE. "It´s amazing to see the different layers of decision-makers all working together to bring help to the people who need it most," Major Toro said. CNE coordinates with many governmental, non-governmental, and foreign agencies, such as the Costa Rican Red Cross, fire departments, police, volunteers from the community and the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance. OFDA is an office within the U.S. Agency of International Development, which acts as the coordinator of U.S. foreign disaster assistance. OFDA offers support to local authorities responsible for disaster management, identifies needs and coordinates resources to help, said Phil Gelman, OFDA regional advisor who arrived at CNE headquarters here 45 minutes after the earthquake. "From the get-go, coordination began and it´s been an organized operation," Gelman said. "Integrating JTF-Bravo´s capabilities into the operation has been very smooth." "We appreciate the support of the U.S. military in this operation," said Xinia Guerrero Garita, an official from CNE. "The capability for helicopter airlift Joint Task Force-Bravo is contributing, allows us to better respond to help the people affected by the disaster. "It´s a very complex job, but a beautiful job," said Garita, who has worked for CNE for 17 years. "The beauty is so many agencies are integrated and working together to provide a quick, life-saving response." The Joint Task Force-Bravo team in Costa Rica is comprised of U.S. Army and Air Force aviation crews, rescue, medical and support personnel. The team deployed to Costa Rica on Friday. Joint Task Force-Bravo also responded to flooding near Limon, Costa Rica, at the end of November, and supported CNE in delivering food, water, medicine, personal hygiene kits and mattresses to those in need.