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Japan tsunami: Here's how you can help

Nations are responding to the devastation in Japan, sending aid workers, rescue equipment, and humanitarian supplies. Individuals can help too by donating to legitimate charities.

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Sailors aboard the US 7th Fleet command ship USS Blue Ridge move pallets of humanitarian relief supplies across the ship's flight deck during an underway replenishment in the South China Sea on Saturday, March 12.

Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Fidel C. Hart/US Navy/Reuters

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The world stands transfixed before images of Japan experiencing what Prime Minister Naoto Kan says is the "most severe crisis since the war ended 65 years ago."

But nations also are responding quickly to the devastation, sending aid workers, rescue equipment, and humanitarian supplies to the beleaguered Japanese people. From the United States, that includes US Navy and Marine Corps units as part of what’s been dubbed “Operation Tomodachi” – Japanese for “friendship.”

"We have units from all of our services, with a multitude of capabilities, from medical to communications to civil engineering, poised and ready to support where needed," John Roos, US ambassador to Japan, said Saturday.

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its support ships arrived in the area over the weekend. Helicopters from the aircraft carrier are delivering food and water to stricken communities, and the ship can act as a platform for refueling Japanese helicopters involved in rescue and recovery efforts ashore.

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