Israeli Medical Team Heads for Japan
Israel was the first country to offer assistance to the Japanese government a scant hour after hearing news of the tragic 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami. In response, an official request from Tokyo for aid from Jerusalem resulted in a first responder team of two doctors and one officer from Israel’s Home Front Command departing from Ben Gurion International Airport Saturday night.
The Japanese ambassador was among those present at the airport to wish the team well on their trip and to express his country’s gratitude for the aid. He noted that Israel was one of the first countries to send a medical team to the disaster area. The delegation will do a needs assessment on site in advance of a second team slated to arrive later, with medical equipment, more doctors and other medical professionals. The Foreign and Defense Ministries also are set to ship blankets, coats, gloves and porta-pots to the city of Kurihara. Survivors of the disasters have been streaming in to the city, having been transferred from nearby Sendai, where most of the worst damage is centered.
On Thursday, Israel sent 100 Geiger counters to Japan, to help gauge the radiation levels among civilians in contaminated areas around the stricken nuclear reactors. Another 200 of the devices will be sent next week as well, following an urgent request by Japanese police and fire officials, according to a report by a Hebrew-language newspaper. Arutz-7 March 20, 2011