November 14, 2008

Today in history: Colombia volcano erupts

Looking for a story idea?

Not the history of the volcano erupting but rather the historic search and rescue operation that took place. See my note at the end.

November 14, 1985

Volcano erupts in Colombia and buries nearby towns

this day in 1985, a volcano erupts in Colombia, killing well over
20,000 people as nearby towns are buried in mud, ice and lava.

What the history books don't say is that many of the dog search teams that the United States sent to the area were used just a couple of months earlier in Mexico City.

In Mexico the dogs were used -- for the first time ever -- in an urban disaster environment.

In Colombia it was the first time dog search teams were used in a natural disaster environment. Usually the dogs are used to find lost children in the wilderness.

The operations in Mexico and Colombia saved lives because people who would have otherwise been missed by normal search and rescue methods were found by the dogs.

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