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Fairfax County Search and Rescue Team on Standby to Help Oklahoma Tornado Victims

NBC 4 reports that special task force could swing into action if called to help.

The Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue Team is on standby waiting to hear if they might be called to help out in Moore, Okla., where first responders are helping victims of a massive tornado that struck Monday afternoon.

"There is devastation as far as the eye can see," reported NBC's Al Roker on WRC/NBC-4 Monday night.

  • Read: How you can help Oklahoma tornado victims.

News reports put the death toll from the monster storm at more than 24 people, including several schoolchildren, CNN reports. Weather experts say the tornado, which struck at about 3:30 p.m. Central Time, was an EF4, with winds up to 200 miles per hour. The storm was reportedly on the ground for nearly an hour.

The Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue Team counts at least 80 members and search canines; it was activated by FEMA to assist with Hurricane Sandy last fall.

Other emergencies that the task force has responded to include Hurricane Irene in 2011, as well as an earthquake in Japan and an earthquake and hurricane in Haiti.

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