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Bush Sends Condolences to Algeria - 2003-05-22

President Bush has sent his condolences to the Algerian people, following Wednesday's massive earthquake. Algeria's interior minister says more than 1,000 people were killed.

Rescue workers are scrambling to deal with the devastation, digging through the rubble in hopes of finding survivors.

President Bush says the United States is ready to help. In a written statement, he says he was deeply saddened to learn of the tragedy. Mr. Bush says the American people are praying for the victims, their families, and the entire Algerian nation.

The president's message did not go into specific aid projects. But in the past, the United States has provided humanitarian assistance to areas hard hit by earthquakes through U.S. aid agencies and non-governmental organization. That aid has ranged from logistical help for rescue workers, to shipments of needed food, medicine, and temporary housing.

This was the worst earthquake to hit Algeria in decades. It struck in a densely populated region along the Mediterranean coast. Most of the deaths occurred in towns near the epicenter, about 60 kilometers east of Algiers.