Urban Search and Rescue Task Force from California Headed to Nepal

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A Buddha statue is surrounded by debris from a collapsed temple in the UNESCO world heritage site of Bhaktapur on April 26, 2015 in Bhaktapur, Nepal. (Courtesy: Omar Havana/Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO-

Gov. Jerry Brown has approved the deployment of an Urban Search and Rescue Task Force, through the Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), to aid in the response of the 7.8 magnitude quake that struck Nepal this weekend.

A team of 57 will assist local emergency operations in and around the hardest hit areas of the country, conducting search and rescue operations.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Nepalese people and we are eager to get our world-class first responders on the ground to help those that are still being impacted by this terrible event,” Cal OES Director, Mark Ghilarducci, said.

The earthquake struck Nepal at approximately 11:11 p.m. on April 24 at a depth of about nine miles. The epicenter is northwest of Kathmandu, the nation’s capitol.

Aftershocks are significant in number and intensity, continuing to cause further damage. The Task Force is expected to arrive on Monday in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Members in California Urban Search and Rescue teams have been deployed for duty during Hurricane Katrina, 2010 Haiti earthquake, 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, 2013 Oklahoma tornadoes, 2014 Washington State mudslide and many other of the world’s major disasters.

If you’d like to donate and help with relief efforts for the people of Nepal by visiting redcross.org or http://www.gofundme.com/sy8wsw