US helps Japan
Washington (CNN) — President Barack Obama extended a helping hand to Japan today as hundreds of people were dead and additional hundreds were missing after a devastating 8.9-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami.
“I offer our Japanese friends whatever assistance is needed,” he said during a news conference. “Today’s events remind us how fragile life can be.”
Obama said the main U.S. assistance to Japan for now would probably be “lift capacity” in the form of heavy equipment to help clean up damaged infrastructure.
The U.S. government is taking inventory of how many military personnel are in Japan to provide help, he said, adding that American citizens in Japan will also receive assistance.
Obama called the earthquake and tsunami “a potentially catastrophic disaster,” saying the images of destruction were “simply heartbreaking.”