The Israeli aid NGO iAID sent a team of volunteers who have search and rescue experience to Mexico in order to help the local authorities locate and rescue earthquake survivors. “[We want to] bring the start-up nation to them,” the iAID founder and CEO said.
Watch: Dramatic rescue mission in Mexico City
Along with aid delegations from all over the world, the Israeli non-profit organization iAID sent a team of volunteers to Mexico in the aftermath of the powerful earthquake that has already claimed the lives of 273 people. “We’ve been operating for a year and our goal is to bring Israeli technology and inventions to assist the populations in developing countries both in times of disasters and for the long run,” said iAID founder and CEO Shachar Zahavi.
“[We want to] bring the start-up nation to them,” Zahavi added. “Two days ago, we brought 15 people, all of whom have previous experience in search and rescue, to the scene.” According to Zahavi, the volunteers are working with the IDF aid delegation.
After the earthquake Photo Credit: iAID/Channel 2 News
The Israeli volunteers have split up into two teams: the first is leading a rescue mission at the site of a collapsed eight-story building along with dozens of local volunteers, the Mexican military and foreign search and rescue teams. The team has pulled out from underneath the rubble the body of a father. The man’s daughter and the local community had been searching for him for several days.
The second team is working at the site of a school that collapsed. The Israeli volunteers are the only ones allowed to enter the site in order to search for children who are trapped under the rubble. While the two teams are working at different locations, they are in constant contact with each other and fully coordinating their efforts.
IDF officer in Mexico Photo Credit: Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry/Channel 2 News
Meanwhile, it was reported that half of those killed by the earthquake were in the country’s capital Mexico City. The local authorities believe that the death toll is still expected to rise as the rescue missions continue. Aside from the Israeli aid teams, many countries sent delegations and funds in order to assist Mexico during this difficult time.
Experts say survivors can live without water for up to three days and therefore the chances of finding people alive decreased significantly on Friday. The rescue forces are using a system developed by the Israeli company Camero-Tech, which uses radio waves to collect information on objects and people located behind walls.