On October 23rd, the eastern city of Van was struck by a 7.2 M earthquake leveling more than 2,000 structures and burying hundreds of victims under rubble. TR deployed an initial scout team the next day. The recon team consisted of two former Air Force PJ’s with equipment and technical rescue certifications in Confined Space/Structural Collapse.
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October 28, 2011 26 October 2011 Snow covered the local mountain ranges, and sprinkled all the way down to the 7000 ft mark. Ercis sat just above 5000 ft, so we were spared from the snow for the time being. The rain came though, it swarmed through the refugee camps and became torrents that ran between every tent… Read More »
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28 October 2011 SUMMARY Team Rubicon sent a small scout team to recon the earthquake disaster zones near Van Lake in eastern Turkey. Transportation to these areas took almost 72 hours by air due to their relative isolation and austerity. By then most of the "emergency" had given way to a controlled government response. There… Read More »
Scout Team leader Josh Webster has reported back to Team Rubicon HQ that further TR medical teams are unnecessary. After spending three days surveying Search and Rescue efforts and conducting medical reconnaissance in rural villages around Ercis and Van, Webster has also called a halt to further operations by the Scout Team and will be… Read More »
Team Rubicon reached the city of Ercis yesterday afternoon. Pararescueman Josh Webster, reporting from satellite phone, spoke of major earthquake damage in the city and shortages of food and shelter. The team is spending the evening in a car and will move out at first light with a Japanese Search and Rescue team. More information… Read More »
26 October 2011 Snow covered the local mountain ranges, and sprinkled all the way down to the 7000 ft mark. Ercis sat just above 5000 ft, so we were spared from the snow for the time being. The rain came though, it swarmed through the refugee camps and became torrents that ran between every tent… Read More »
Team Rubicon's scout team departed the city of Ercis in the morning. The local gymnasium had been converted into a makeshift hospital, and we had spent some time helping the Turkish EMS workers construct the tents that served as the individual "wards". Inside these wards patients sat in beds with any range of illness or… Read More »
25 October 2011 We awoke at 4:30 am and headed for the airport. Istanbul International Airport was a beehive of activity that early, and we talked strategy as we checked our bags and headed to our gate. While waiting for out plane we ran into a medical relief team from Japan. Their organization was called… Read More »
24 October 2011 Nathan and I shouldered our backpacks for the last time until we would (hopefully) see them in Turkey. Dressed in khaki, with similar builds, similar haircuts, and similarly unshaved we must have looked like brothers to anybody else. We wore our Team Rubicon pullovers, awaiting the frigid autumn nights in the Eastern… Read More »