Coast Guard and FEMA respond to Samoan Tsunami

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A team of Coast Guard and Federal Emergency Management Agency emergency response experts left Northern California on their way to Samoa to assist with earthquake and tsunami recovery in Samoa early this morning.

Members of the Coast Guard’s Pacific Strike Force based in Novato, Calif., along with additional Coast Guard and FEMA response and communications experts, and their equipment boarded a Coast Guard C-130 at McClellan Field to begin their trip.

“This operation is exactly what we we are trained to do,” said Cmdr. Wes Hester, operations officer at Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento. ” We’re glad we can move these response teams quickly to help the people of Samoa in the wake of this terrible tragedy.”

“Members of the national reponse team are deploying to assist the Samoan government and his emergency staff in helping the survivors of this disaster in any way we can,” said Jack Geck, FEMA National Response Team liaison. “Additional national and regional team members will follow those who left tonight to increase our ability to help.”

The Sacramento based C-130 will fly the response teams to Hawaii where they will transfer to other transportation to Samoa. There were 15 federal representatives that flew out this morning and they will rendezvous with approximately 50 other representatives in the very near future.

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