News / USA

Obama Offers Tornado Victims Prayers, Assistance

Dr. Amanda Theys sorts through the rubble of the tornado-ravaged medical clinic she works at in Moore, Oklahoma,  May 21, 2013.
Dr. Amanda Theys sorts through the rubble of the tornado-ravaged medical clinic she works at in Moore, Oklahoma, May 21, 2013.
Kent Klein
President Barack Obama is directing his emergency management team to give tornado victims in the central state of Oklahoma everything they need. The president spoke to reporters Tuesday about the response to the deadly twisters.

Obama promised an urgent government response to people in the city of Moore, Oklahoma, where dozens were killed, and parts of the town simply disappeared.

The president called it “one of the most destructive tornadoes in history.” The full extent of the damage is not known, but he acknowledged that a big job lies ahead.

President Barack Obama speaks next to Vice President Joe Biden (L) at the White House in Washington, May 21, 2013.President Barack Obama speaks next to Vice President Joe Biden (L) at the White House in Washington, May 21, 2013.
x
President Barack Obama speaks next to Vice President Joe Biden (L) at the White House in Washington, May 21, 2013.
President Barack Obama speaks next to Vice President Joe Biden (L) at the White House in Washington, May 21, 2013.
“There are homes and schools to rebuild, businesses and hospitals to reopen, there are parents to console, first responders to comfort, and, of course, frightened children who will need our continued love and attention,” he said.

Obama spoke after meeting with his disaster response team, including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and other top White House officials.

He said the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency is on his way to Oklahoma to assess the damage and manage the government’s response.

The president said he had spoken with the governor of Oklahoma and the mayor of Moore, and assured them that the federal government would give them the resources they need to recover.

Obama had declared a major emergency in Oklahoma on Monday. In his brief White House remarks, the president told people in Oklahoma that the entire nation is supporting them as they recover and rebuild.

Tornado, Oklahoma City, OklahomaTornado, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
x
Tornado, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Tornado, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
“But you will not travel that path alone," he said. "Your country will travel it with you, fueled by our faith in the Almighty and our faith in one another. So our prayers are with the people of Oklahoma today, and we will back up those prayers with deeds for as long as it takes.”

Obama suggested that those who want to help the victims should donate to the American Red Cross. A series of tornadoes blasted through Oklahoma Sunday and Monday. The weather service estimated that the one which devastated Moore, an Oklahoma City suburb, was at least 800 meters wide.  

Two elementary schools were leveled, and emergency personnel say some neighborhoods are no longer recognizable. This was the fourth tornado to hit Moore since 1998.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
May 21, 2013 3:12 PM
A terrible tragedy, especially all the loss of life and the injured, it is heartbreaking to see such suffering and losses. There is no question that climate related events appear to be getting more extreme. Given the observed power of these storms, it should be crystal clear, that preventive and response civil defence issues need to be addressed in a constructive manner. The lack of hardened shelters for schools, hardened hospital facilities, and a better C4 for military emergency response needs to be looked at. There are no reasons, in my view, that upon such a storm nearby/area reserve/guard forces, outside the damaged zone, immediately mobilize and respond; this is not the first such event, nor will it be the last, such response should be automatic. Construction codes in such areas, tornado/high wind velocity, should require emergency shelters, that can provide safe shelters and sustain such events; lack of shelters in/by schools and other location in which large numbers of persons spend much of their days needs priority addressing, most of the needs are self evident. Let us hope that no more victims are found, and pray that people can restore their lives ASAP.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school

All About America

AppleAndroid