Firefighters from Hampshire and Kent support Morocco earthquake rescue efforts

Crews from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue heading to Morocco. Credit: HIWFRS

Firefighters from Kent and Hampshire have been sent to Morocco to support rescue efforts in the wake of the devastating earthquake.

Moroccan mountain towns have been devastated by last Friday's earthquake, which killed almost three thousand people.

The 6.8 magnitude tremor, stretching from the High Atlas Mountains to the city of Marrakesh, destroyed buildings and left survivors homeless and in need of shelter, food and clothing.

The crews from the South East are among a UK International Search and Rescue (UKISAR) team of 60 people who've been deployed to help local emergency services 44 miles south of Marrakech.

The team is self-sufficient upon arrival and provides its own food, water, shelter, sanitation, communications and all necessary equipment to undertake search and rescue operations for up to 14 days.

This is to ensure no additional burden is placed upon a country already suffering demands on its resources following a sudden disaster.

Chief Fire Officer at HIWFRS, Neil Odin said: "The devastation caused by this earthquake has been heartbreaking to see and our thoughts are with all those affected.  Having dedicated, specialist, highly skilled firefighters, who can respond to a disaster of this nature and scale at a moment’s notice has meant that we are able to be part of the UK response during this vital time."

National Fire Chiefs Council Chair, Mark Hardingham said: "The thoughts of the UK’s fire and rescue services are with all those affected by the devastating earthquake in Morocco.

"A team of specially trained firefighters and medics from the UK has been deployed to assist following a request from the Moroccan government to the British government.

"They will be providing specialist technical support where it is needed most to save lives and support local emergency service teams."