Turkey Earthquake: Virginia Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue team returns home to Fairfax Co.

Virginia Task Force 1, the urban search and rescue team from Fairfax County that was sent to Turkey in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake earlier this month, has returned home.

The team responded just days after the 7.8 magnitude quake struck on Feb. 6. Family and friends welcomed the group at the airport as they arrived around 11:15 p.m. Monday.

The epicenter of the massive earthquake was in southern Kahramanmaras province. Nearly 45,000 people were killed and thousands of buildings were destroyed. Thousands of powerful aftershocks followed.

The group spent 11 days searching for survivors. "As our team departs, we are humbled by the strength and graciousness of the people of Türkiye," the team posted on Twitter Monday. "We wish you the best as you rebuild and recover." The United States Agency for International Development will remain in Turkey.

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Virginia Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue 

On the same day the group returned, a new 6.4-magnitude quake struck Monday adding to the death toll and damage.

Search teams from more than two dozen countries have joined tens of thousands of local emergency personnel, and aid pledges have poured in from around the world.

The Fairfax County group is frequently dispatched to emergencies across the U.S. and to different parts of the world.

In 2020, the team assisted in Oregon with out-of-control wildfires. In 2021, the team deployed to Haiti to help in the aftermath of a major earthquake. More recently in the fall of 2022, the team traveled to Florida to help with relief efforts following Hurricane Ian.