Obama 'heartbroken' over killer tornados

24th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

US President Barack Obama said Tuesday he was "heartbroken" over the devastation wrought by tornados in the US midwest, which killed more than 100 people, and said he would visit the disaster zone Sunday.

Obama, speaking from London before opening a state visit with Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, vowed the US government would stand by victims of the disaster until everyone's home had been rebuilt.

He said he was "heartbroken" over the deadly aftermath of the storms, particularly by the plight of Joplin, Missouri, where 116 people perished in a mile-wide tornado with winds of up to 200 miles (320 kilometers) an hour.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families that are suffering at the moment," Obama told reporters at Winfield House, the residence of the US ambassador in London.

"All we can do is let them know that all of America cares deeply about them and we are going to do absolutely everything we can to make sure they can recover."

Obama said he would travel to Missouri on Sunday, a day after he returns from a four-nation tour of Europe, to talk to victims of the disaster and to examine the US government's rescue and recovery effort.

The president also urged all Americans to take heed of storm warnings in what has been a particularly powerful and deadly storm season.

"These storms often strike without warning," he said.

© 2011 AFP

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