Washington (ANTARA News/AFP) - President Barack Obama said Friday that a second US aircraft carrier was heading to Japan to provide assistance after a devastating earthquake and tsunami he described as "simply heartbreaking."

Obama said he offered condolences in a telephone call to Japan`s Prime Minister Naoto Kan and promised "whatever assistance is needed."

"The images of destruction and flooding coming out of Japan are simply heartbreaking," Obama told a news conference.

"We currently have an aircraft carrier in Japan, and another is on the way," Obama said. He said another ship was heading to US territories in the Mariana Islands to "assist as needed."

A Pentagon spokesman said the two carriers were the USS George Washington, which is based at Yokosuka near Tokyo, and the USS Ronald Reagan, which was en route to South Korea for exercises and has been redirected to Japan.

"Today`s events remind us of just how fragile life can be. Our hearts go out to our friends in Japan and across the region, and we are going to stand with them as they recover and rebuild from this tragedy," Obama said. (*)

Editor: Kunto Wibisono
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