U.S. President George Bush says America's government and its people will continue to help victims of last month's devastating earthquake in China. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

With 70,000 people dead and more than 15 million homeless, President Bush says China's earthquake was a horrible disaster. "There is no question this is a major human disaster that requires a strong response from the Chinese government, which is what they are providing, but it also requires a compassionate response from nations that have the good blessings of life, and that is us," he said.

Mr. Bush met with more than 30 public and private sector leaders at the national headquarters of the American Red Cross for a briefing on earthquake assistance.

Red Cross officials say more than 80,000 Americans and 60 corporations have given money and supplies to help earthquake survivors. Total contributions by the American Red Cross for that effort now total $20 million, and officials say additional assistance will be provided as long-term needs are identified.

President Bush says he is not surprised by that response. "My message to the Chinese government is: Thank you for welcoming our aid. Thank you for taking a firm response to this disaster, and just know that the American people care about the people of China. When a brother and sister hurt, we care about it, and so that is why our response has been so robust and so compassionate to date," he said.

Red Cross officials say long-term challenges include rebuilding homes and schools, water and sanitation facilities, medical services, and support for those who have been relocated.