The U.S. will assist Japan with heavy lifting equipment to move debris and has activated two search and rescue teams to help in the aftermath of the massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent Tsunami on Friday that has already killed hundreds of people and has injured and displaced many others.
President Barack Obama told reporters on Friday that he spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan Friday morning and said the U.S. was ready to provide any assistance they needed.
Obama said the main help would come through lift capacity to help with the cleanup.
With a tsunami like this and the earthquake, you have huge disruptions in the infrastructure. Boats, houses and cars washed into main thoroughfares, he said.
He said heavy equipment was needed and the U.S. was ready to provide it.
Obama was updated on the evolving situation in Japan at 9:30 a.m. at the White House. He had first been alerted to the situation at 4:00 a.m. and said at the time the U.S. was ready to assist.
Two urban search and rescue teams with domestic and international capabilities had been activated to support Japan, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said in a conference call with reporters.
He said international aid is being done through USAID, the U.S. foreign assistance agency.
Most U.S.-related damage and impact so far has been localized, with impact felt on boats, marinas and roads near the coast. However he said that there had been no reports of loss of life. He urged people in those areas to heed any evacuation orders.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Friday that it is coordinating the federal response to the disaster and providing support to state and local officials responding.