City News Service
A search and rescue task force from the Los Angeles County Fire Department that returned Saturday from earthquake- and tsunami-ravaged Japan found no survivors but did recover some bodies.
The 74 members of the California Task Force 2 heavy rescue team, based in Pacoima, assisted in the rescue efforts in the aftermath of the March 11 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami.
“The team spent six days in Japan searching for victims in the Ofunato and Kamaishi City areas and has completed its mission,” said Los Angeles County fire Chief Daryl L. Osby.
“We’ve done some recovery, and at this point, the government of Japan has determined that they don’t have anymore missions,” said Los Angeles County fire Capt. John Lenhian in an interview with CNN. “The government of Japan has a lot of resources on the ground, and we were able to assist them.”
“If we are able to rescue, part of our job is just to reunite the families,” county fire Capt. Bryan Wells told ABC7. “If we can help out the families to reunite the families with the loved ones that have passed away due to the disaster, that gives the guys a great sense of success, if they can help to reunite the families.”
Both the California team and another from Virginia searched for survivors in Japan and last month in New Zealand following a major earthquake there. Neither team found anyone alive.