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

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee 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.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid