An Military Emergency Unit team is already on its way to Morocco to assist in the search and rescue of earthquake survivors

News - 2023.9.10

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The Minister for Defence, Margarita Robles, announced this at the start of her visit to see the work carried out by the Parachute Brigade to install a footbridge in Aldea del Fresno (Madrid).

An A400 aircraft is already in the air on its way to Marrakesh," said the Minister for Defence, "with a contingent of the Military Emergency Unit made up of 56 soldiers from the Zaragoza Battalion, four dogs and various equipment".

Margarita Robles also said that "another flight will be sent later with various aid material from the autonomous communities".

The personnel deployed consists of a search and rescue team from BIEM IV (Zaragoza), with 46 military personnel, and a coordination team from Headquarters (UMEDAT), with 10 personnel. They are joined by four dogs from the cynological team.

The Military Emergency Unit has Search and Rescue (USAR) teams certified by both the United Nations and the European Civil Protection Mechanism that provide the capacity to search for both survivors and the dead in the rubble using dog teams and technical means (geophones, telescopic cameras or georadar).

In addition, these teams have the capacity to cut and drill into structures such as reinforced concrete, and to rescue victims once they have been located and access to them has been opened.

They also have means of detecting possible toxic or explosive substances to ensure the safety of those involved in the rescue work.

These EMU teams have already taken part in earthquake rescue operations such as those in Haiti, Lorca, Nepal, Ecuador, Mexico, and the most recent one in Turkey, where they were deployed in February this year, locating six people alive under the rubble.

Non official translation