United Nations joins search and rescue effort in Japan

A team of seven experts from the United Nations has joined in the planning and management of the search and rescue efforts in Japan in the aftermath of last week's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

The Government of Japan has confirmed that about 1,650 people have died, with more than 10,000 people missing.

The death toll is likely to increase once emergency service teams reach the tsunami affected areas.

OCHA spokesperson, Elisabeth Byrs says that as of today, Japanese authorities have agreed to receive 15 international search and rescue teams.

“We have also deployed a seven-member team, highly specialized experts with a lot of knowledge of this kind of dramatic situation. And this seven-member team is under the supervision of the Japanese disaster management team to coordinate better, to add efficiency to this international search and rescue effort.”

OCHA points out that the emergency rescue and relief operation in northeast Japan is being hampered by high magnitude aftershocks and tsunamis.

The agency says that about 380,000 people have been evacuated from the tsunami and earthquake affected areas.

Duration:  28″ 

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