The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) delegation to Mexico. [Photo Credit: IDF]

This past Tuesday, Mexico City was hit with a catastrophic 7.1 magnitude earthquake that shook the ground for nearly 3 minutes and claimed the lives of hundreds of people in its wake.

On Wednesday, in response to the disaster, Israel sent a delegation of 71 Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers to offer assistance. The IDF delegation of men and women includes 25 engineers who are evaluating the damage and providing assessments and assistance in the disaster zone in addition to search-and-rescue and other military personnel. The delegation is led by Col. (res.) Dudi Mizrahi of the Home Front Command’s Search and Rescue unit.

The IDF delegation arrived in Mexico on Thursday, some 48 hours after the earthquake.

Since early Thursday morning, the IDF aid delegation has been working tirelessly to help the people of Mexico in their time of need

Posted by Israel Defense Forces on Saturday, September 23, 2017

“We left our homes ahead of the holiday but priority is always given to such a mission — to save lives, even if it is thousands of kilometers from home,” Col. Dudi Mizrahi, Commander of the National Search and Rescue Unit in the Home Front Command, told the Jerusalem Post. “It is a great honor for us to be part of this effort.

In addition to the IDF, volunteers from nongovernmental Israeli humanitarian-aid agencies IsraAID, ZAKA and iAID are in Mexico providing rescue services and material and psychosocial assistance to victims of the earthquakes.

The IDF delegation was greeted by very appreciative locals and news reporters alike.

Heroes.*They come from all around the world. Today I was honored to meet many of them here in Mexico City. Thank you…

Posted by Gigi Graciette on Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Israeli delegation prepared for their response, traveled to Mexico and worked throughout the Jewish New Year or Rosh Hashana. This is a time when Israeli’s traditionally refrain from travel and work and instead, spend time with their families to celebrate the New Year.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the delegation will remain in Mexico until this coming Friday, when it returns to Israel for Yom Kippur.

In November, the United Nations World Health Organization recognized Israel’s emergency medical response team as “number one in the world.”