US sending aircraft carrier to provide aid to Japan

Carriers can generate electricity, potable water; Obama: US stands ready to provide any help needed; Ban Ki-moon offers UN support.

Obama 311 reuters (photo credit: Reuters)
Obama 311 reuters
(photo credit: Reuters)
US President Barack Obama said that the hearts of the US people "go out to our friends in Japan and across the region," saying that the US will help them rebuild, in a press conference Friday. He added that in a telephone conversation earlier Friday, that he told Japanese Prime Minister Naota Kan that the United States stands ready to offer whatever help the country needs to cope with a massive earthquake.
Obama told reporters that the US has an aircraft carrier already in the area and that another was on its way. The US navy carriers have the capability to provide both electricity and clean drinking water.
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The US president, addressing his own country, added that waves have come ashore in US territories and states of Guam, Alaska and Hawaii and were expected along the US mainland's west coast.
The US Federal Disaster Management (FEMA) agency has been fully activated he said, and that while it looks as if the US will be spared any major damage, the government is preparing for large waves.
Earlier Friday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, "The world is shocked and saddened by the images coming out of Japan this morning."
"We will do anything and everything we can," he added.
Another neighbor across the sea, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, said: "Russia is ready to offer Japan all possible aid to cope with the aftermath of this tragedy."
The Russian emergency services agency ERMACOM offered 40 people with three sniffer dogs, while Singapore had civil defense forces on standby and Poland offered firefighters.
China, Switzerland and the United States also offered rescue teams, while Britain, France and others said they were ready to offer whatever help was required.
In Europe, British Prime Minister David Cameron said: "We've had a terrible reminder of the destructive power of nature, and everyone should be thinking of that country and their people, and I've asked immediately that our government should look at what we can do to help."
UK Foreign Minister William Hague said British rapid deployment teams were ready to travel immediately to the areas of most need.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said: "France stands ready to respond to any requests from Japan for help in the face of this tragedy."