For Immediate Release
December 30, 2004
From remarks by President Bush, 12/29/04
America is shocked and saddened by the terrible loss of life from the recent earthquake and the tsunamis in the Indian Ocean.
These past few days have brought loss and grief to the world that is beyond comprehension. The United States will continue to stand with the affected governments as they care for the victims, and as they start to rebuild their communities.
President Bush has expressed condolences to the leaders of India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Indonesia; pledged American support; and praised their steadfast leadership during these difficult times.
America is committed to helping the affected countries in the difficult weeks and months that lie ahead. An initial $35 million has been pledged in relief assistance, and American disaster experts have been deployed to the region. As well, a Marine expeditionary unit, the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, and the Maritime pre-position squadron from Guam are being dispatched to help with relief efforts.
The United States has established a regional core group with India, Japan and Australia to help coordinate relief efforts. President Bush is confident more nations will join this core group in short order.
The region's short-term needs are being assessed. The size of the problem will become clearer, particularly regarding the rebuilding of infrastructure and community.
American and international organizations are working courageously to save lives and to provide assistance, and America has only begun to help.