President Obama, Vice President Biden Pledge US Assistance in Wake of Japanese Earthquake, Pacific Tsunamis

By Jaketapper

Mar 11, 2011 6:59am

ABC News' Karen Travers reports: 

President Obama issued a statement this morning on the earthquake in Japan and subsequent tsunami warning throughout the Pacific.

"Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan, particularly those who have lost loved ones in the earthquake and tsunamis, said the president in the written statement. "The United States stands ready to help the Japanese people in this time of great trial."

Obama called the ties between the US and Japan "unshakeable" and said today's events "only strengthens our resolve to stand with the people of Japan as they overcome this tragedy."

The president said his administration will closely monitor the tsunamis around Japan and the Pacific and urged citizens in the affected areas to heed the advice of state and local officials.

"I have instructed FEMA to be ready to assist Hawaii and the rest of the US states and territories that could be affected," said the president, who spent most of his childhood living in Hawaii on the island of Oahu.

Obama was informed of the earthquake around 4am ET by his chief of staff, Bill Daley.

Vice President Biden also expressed his concerns for those affected by the earthquake in the Japan at the start of a meeting with Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat.

"The thoughts and prayers of the American people and I'm sure the Moldovan people when they find out are with our friends in Japan" who he said had suffered through a "mega-earthquake."

"We the United States stand ready to do anything we can to help our Japanese friends as they deal with the aftermath of this tragedy," Biden said, according to the pool reporter traveling with him.

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