IDF aid delegation takes off for Brazil to help rescue missing people after dam collapse

The IDF sent a 130-soldier aid delegation to help rescue the people of Brumadinho (southeast Brazil), where a dam collapse left hundreds missing.

On Saturday, January 26th, 2019, the Brumadinho dam burst, vast areas were covered in mud and became submerged in water. According to Brazilian authorities, at least 34 people have died and hundreds are still missing.

IDF preparing to dispatch humanitarian aid delegation to Brazil following dam collapse

PM Netanyahu spoke Saturday evening with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. The Prime Minister offered that Israel would immediately dispatch aid to the disaster site and assist in the search for survivors. Brazilian President Bolsonaro thanked the Prime Minister and accepted his offer.

The IDF, in accordance with Israeli Government directives and in close coordination with the Brazilian Government, sent a search and rescue delegation with special teams to assist in the rescue effort.

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The IDF aid mission has been dispatched to help save lives. Search and rescue teams will undertake extensive efforts to assist in using equipment, including advanced cellular location, naval sonar, and drones.

In preparation for the mission, the members of the delegation were given the necessary supplies, including vaccines and medical equipment.

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The 130-soldier delegation consists of engineering experts, doctors, search and rescue teams, firefighters from the Israel Fire and Rescue Services, soldiers from the Israeli Navy’s underwater missions unit (YATAM 707), the Oketz K9 unit, representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), and the Israeli ambassador to Brazil, Mr. Yossi Sheli.

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“70 are reserve personnel,” said Head of the IDF International Media Branch, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus. “Most of these people are men and women with families, who leave their private and professional lives behind once they were called for this mission.”

Last November, the Home Front Command’s National Search and Rescue Unit, which is part of the delegation, joined the United Nations’ INSARAG, a prestigious international community of search and rescue units from around the world.