As we reported last week, Los Angeles County Fire's Search and Rescue team was among a handful of local response teams who were to be dispatched to Haiti. (Video of the team in action can be seen HERE)
However, California Watch reports that most of these teams never made it off the ground:
At first, the other teams couldn't get clearance to fly into the battered airport in Port-Au-Prince, which was badly damaged in the temblor. By the time the airport could accommodate more flights, rescue skills weren't needed. The mission in Haiti was changing "from rescue to recovery," the Contra Costa Times quoted a US AID official as saying...
The US AID's description of moving from "rescue to recovery" in Haiti highlights an agonizing fact about urban quakes: victims just can't survive very long trapped in earthquake rubble, and sooner or later you have to stop risking the lives of rescue crews in the long-odds pursuit of another living victim. It's a calculus authorities have to make, but people seeking missing loved ones understandably find it objectionable.