An international relief effort has swung into action for Japan.
From sniffer dogs and search and resue teams to medical experts, help is at hand in a race against time to reach victims trapped underneath debris.
While one emergency team left Britain for Japan, another set off from Germany, with recovery specialists eager to seek out survivors.
“We are, of course, nervous but in a positive way,” said rescuer Georgia Pfleiderer, setting off from Frankfurt-Hahn airport. “We have trained for this sort of work. We know what we have to do and now we have the chance to help people in Japan. So we are nervous, but we have a good feeling.”
But was the crew worried about the risk of radiation exposure after the explosion at the Japanese nuclear plant?
“We can assess the situation,” said rescuer Daniel Riedel. “We trust our control room who said we could do it. The risk is acceptable. We have been extremely well-trained over the years and it is our job. We will do it.”
South Korea has responded as have Australia and New Zealand, so soon after suffering natural disasters of their own. Japan’s biggest security ally, the United States, is also heavily involved.