US aircraft carrier headed to help Japan

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan is on its way to the northeast coast of earthquake-ravaged Japan to provide assistance.

Cmdr. Greg Hicks said Friday the aircraft carrier was already in the western Pacific on a routine deployment and has been ordered to proceed to the Japanese coast. He says it is expected to arrive in a few days.

The Pentagon has ordered a number of U.S. military ships to move toward Japan.

Hicks says the Reagan has airlift capabilities and can provide medical facilities, fresh water supplies and render other aid if needed.

The largest earthquake in Japan's history - measured at a magnitude of 8.9 - slammed Japan's eastern coast Friday, accompanied by a towering tsunami. Hundreds are dead or missing.

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