Dispatch of Japan Disaster Relief medical team for Earthquake Disaster in Algeria

May 26, 2003

  1. On May 24 (Sat), the Government of Japan decided to dispatch from May 25 to June 7 a Japan Disaster Relief medical team of 22 members comprising medical experts, officials of the Foreign Ministry, and staff members of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to the Democratic People's Republic of Algeria to engage in medical activities including treatment of injured people.

  2. Before dawn on May 22 (JST), Algeria was hit by an earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale, with its seismic center in the Wilaya of Boumerdes, east of the capital, Algiers. On May 23 (JST: 24), Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia announced that it was feared that more than 1,600 people had been killed and more than 7,200 injured. In addition, there was immense human and material damage, including collapsed buildings.

  3. The Government of Algeria has established an emergency headquarters, making self-help efforts toward recovery, but still needs further assistance from the international community and has requested emergency assistance from the Government of Japan. From a humanitarian point of view on assisting the victims of the disaster, and taking into account the friendly relations between Japan and Algeria, the Government of Japan has decided to dispatch this medical team in addition to the Japan Disaster Relief rescue team of 61 personnel dispatched on May 22.

  4. The rescue team has been in operation at Zemmouri, the Wilaya of Boumerdes, and has successfully rescued a survivor on May 23 (JST: 24).
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