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

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Video One Year After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People

Minority community still recovering from devastating assault by IS militants which spurred massive outrage More

‘Malvertisements’ Undermine Internet Trust

Hackers increasingly prey on users' trust of major websites to delivery malicious software 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs