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【Hokkaido Earthquake】 Searching for Survivors

2018.09.07

The 11 members of the airborne medical, search and rescue (SAR) and K9 teams from A-PAD Japan, Civic Force and Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) have been searching for people missing as a result of a landslide in Atsuma-cho, Hokkaido Prefecture, caused by a powerful earthquake that struck the region at 3:08 am on September 6. Seventeen people have died, 21 are unaccounted for, and more than 150 have been injured in the magnitude 6.7 quake.

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Within hours of the quake the medical. SAR and K-9 teams landed by chartered plane at Sapporo’s Shin-Chitose Airport, and proceeded immediately to the landslide site at one of the hardest hit villages of Atsuma-cho, to begin searching for survivors trapped under mud and debris. Hulk, an A-PAD rescue dog has been working with Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (SDF) personnel in the search for survivors. Medical team members including Dr. Miike and Mr. Nakayama of the Emergency Care Center, Faculty of Medicine, Saga University have been attending to patients rescued from houses collapsed due to landslides.

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While visiting a welfare center functioning as an evacuation facility at Atsuma-cho, they treated a 91-year old patient in critical condition. Thanks to first aid treatment by members of the medical team, the patient is on his way to recovery.

As the window of opportunity for a successful rescue is estimated to be 72 hours, A-PAD has recently established its own airborne medical rescue team. This team which was able to hit the ground running will continue the search for the survivors in spite of the rain which began falling late Friday.

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