L.A. County, Va. USAR Teams Deployed to Japan

Urban Search and Rescue teams from Los Angeles County and Fairfax County, Va. are on the way to Japan following one of the biggest earthquakes on record.

The 8.9 magnitude earthquake spawned a tsunami and fires on the county's eastern coast and killed hundreds of people.

According to L.A. County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Sam Padilla, the USAR team has been activated and mobilized and is en route to the devastated country.

The U.S. Agency for International Development announced that the Fairfax County USAR team will also be sent to Japan.

Each team will be composed of approximately 72 members, search and rescue canines and close to 75 tons of rescue equipment.

Once the teams are in Japan, they will conduct around-the-clock search and rescue operations in the coming days to help find and treat any survivors.

Padilla said that none of the members being deployed from L.A. County are from the team that was sent to New Zealand to assist with the aftermath of the deadly earthquake that struck late last month.

Members of that team started returning home earlier this week and the remaining members arrived in Los Angeles yesterday.

Firehouse.com will provide more information on this story as it becomes available.