SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Saturday plans to send 31 disaster specialists to Puerto Rico to help with earthquake recovery efforts, according to the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). 

The deployment comes following a direct request for assistance from the Puerto Rican government to the California Governor's Office, according to Cal OES.

"California stands with the people of Puerto Rico,” Gov. Newsom said in a press release. “Our nation-sized state knows first-hand the devastating toll of natural disasters and we will provide aid and support as our brothers and sisters rebuild and recover.” 

The team of disaster specialists will leave for San Juan, Puerto Rico Jan. 12 and deploy for 16 days. The team is made up of experts in incident and emergency management, engineering and safety assessment, planning, public information, debris management and crisis counseling.

“Here in California, we have some of the most talented and experienced emergency management staff in the world. We are ready to provide their valuable skill sets to our partners in Puerto Rico,” Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci said in a press release.

Earlier this week, Gov. Newsom approved the deployment of four California Urban Search & Rescue team members from Sacramento City Fire and the Orange County Fire Authority, according to Cal OES. These US&R-trained professional firefighters are assisting with search and rescue operations.

The Governor’s Office and Cal OES are continuing to coordinate with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to monitor for future requests for assistance. 

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