New Straits Times, Nation, December 31,
Five-member team off to help quake recovery in Bam

PETALING JAYA, Tues. - Yayasan Salam Malaysia and the Malaysian Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association (MVFRA) have sent a team of five volunteers to Bam, Iran, to determine what assistance they can provide following the earthquake there.

Led by MVFRA chairman K. Balasupramaniam, the five-member team flew to Singapore tonight on a MAS flight, enroute to Dubai and then Tehran. All travel expenses were borne by Yayasan Salam.

In a press conference earlier today, Yayasan Salam trustee Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the organization had committed itself to long-term recovery works in Bam.

Hence, the team's trip was to provide Yayasan Salam with a true assessment of the quake damage.

'Besides helping out in whatever recovery works upon reaching Bam, they will also meet with local and international agencies there to establish our network to facilitate our future reconstruction and humanitarian aid to Bam," he said.

The other team members are technical and heavy vehicle expert Cody Muniyandi, emergency medical aid expert Lim SIm Wei, experinced disaster-relief volunteer Noor Amli Mahat and high angle fitting and wiring expert Ramakrishnan Rmasamy.

Balasupramaniam, aslo MVFRA's trainer for fire and rescue operations, said the team had been chosen for their individual specialties.

"From our experience in previous relief work and rescue operations, we believe each of the member's expertise will be in demand," he said.

The team took along some mobile emergency and recovery equipment, such as high angle fitting and confined-space rescue stretchers.

"We don't know the scope of our follow-up recovery works yet, but in terms of technical expertise, we are looking for a water and sanitary engineer as well as water treatment specialist now." said Saifuddin.

The team, which left Kuala Lumpur International airport at 10.30pm, is expected to reach Tehran at 9.35am (Tehran time) the next day.

"They should be back by Jan 7 and then we will finalize the plans for the follow-up recovery works," said Saifuddin.


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