The U.S. government and nearly a dozen other nations are ramping up assistance to Japan in the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami and more than 250 aftershocks that have devastated the country, sending in rescue teams and supplies. A slew of U.S. aid groups are also accepting private donations for relief efforts.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has sent two of its officials with expertise in boiling water nuclear reactors. They joined a disaster response team with the U.S. International Agency for International Development, the primary federal agency that provides assistance to countries struck by a disaster.
USAID also sent two urban search and rescue teams to Japan at the request of the Japanese government, the agency said. The 75-person rescue teams, each with six dogs trained to detect live victims, were joining rescue teams from Japan and other countries.
The Pentagon has sent a second U.S. aircraft carrier to Japan and ordered another ship to the region to help as needed.
Also providing assistance:
- Britain. A search and rescue team of more than 60 specialists, two rescue dogs and a medical support team. They will be deployed first thing Monday morning. The British ambassador and a team of
consular staff were in Sendai to assess the level of damage and to help locate British nationals.
- France. About 100 people including rescue workers, civil security squads and a medical team, plus 11 counterparts from neighboring Monaco, have been dispatched. Japanese authorities have asked them to assist in clearing and rescue efforts, a French Foreign Ministry official.
- Germany. The state-run THW aid agency has sent a 36-member team of rescue experts with dog. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Germany has offered further help but that none has yet been requested.
- Italy, which was ready to offer rescue teams and other assistance. Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said his country was awaiting word from the Japanese government on what precisely was needed and where it should be deployed.