President Bush is sending condolences and promising aid to those affected by the Indian Ocean earthquake that spawned massive tidal waves felt from Indonesia to Sri Lanka.
A White House spokesman says President Bush sends his condolences to all the people of the region at this time of suffering.
In a brief written statement, Trent Duffy said the United States will provide, what he termed, appropriate aid. He did not elaborate, except to say some relief is already on its way to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, and further help will be provided in concert with other countries and international organizations, including the United Nations.
U.S. officials indicate they are waiting for more information before announcing anything further. When pressed by reporters accompanying Mr. Bush to his Texas ranch, Mr. Duffy would only say the president has been briefed on the tragedy, and that the thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the victims.
The 8.9 magnitude underwater earthquake occurred off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, generating massive tidal waves across the Bay of Bengal. The tsunamis slammed into coastal areas, taking thousands of lives. Scientists say it is the biggest earthquake to strike anywhere in the world in 40 years.