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Members of LA search-rescue return from Japan

March 19, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department's Urban Search and Rescue team are on U.S. soil after helping in search and recovery efforts in Japan.

They spent the last week in a town north of Sendai searching for survivors of the magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami.

They did not find anyone alive.

Members said that unlike the quake in Haiti where they did find nine people alive, the tsunami greatly reduced the chances for survival.

However, the USAR team recovered bodies and brought closure to some families waiting to hear news about their loved ones.

The wife of one team member spoke to her husband briefly about the mission.

"I asked him, 'Do you feel that in the areas you searched that you left anyone behind?' He said, 'No.' I said, 'Well, then that's a job well done,'" said Donna Gray. "I'm thrilled and relieved to have him home but my heart breaks for Japan."

The team is going to evaluate how the mission went and discuss how they can improve.


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