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Bush, Rice Send Condolences, Offer Aid After Pakistan Earthquake

More than 19,000 dead after 7.6-magnitude quake near border with India

Posted: October 9, 2005 Related items: > Bush Vows Help for Pakistan as Quake's Death Toll Rises  
> U.S. Embassy in India Provides Relief to Earthquake Victims  
> United States Sends Help to Earthquake-Ravaged Region  

President George W. Bush offers his condolences to victims of the earthquake in South Asia while meeting with Pakistan's Deputy Chief of Mission Mohammad Sadiq in Washington Sunday, October 9. The United States is sending helicopters and emergency relief funds to Pakistan to assist with rescue and recovery from the devastating earthquake on Saturday, October 8. (© AP/WWP)

President Bush on October 8 offered his sympathy on behalf of the people of the United States “for the loss of life and destruction caused by the earthquake that struck outside of Islamabad [Pakistan].” The president’s statement added that “we stand ready to provide additional assistance as needed.”

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also sent her “deepest condolences” to those affected by the earthquake. “The devastation in northern Pakistan and on both [the Indian and Pakistani] sides of the line of control in Kashmir is a terrible tragedy for the people of the region,” Rice said.

In her statement, Rice said she had spoken with the foreign ministers of Pakistan and India to convey her sympathy and to offer “whatever assistance may be needed.”

“At this difficult time, the United States stands with its friends in Pakistan and India, just as they stood with us and offered assistance after Hurricane Katrina,” the storm that devastated portions of the U.S. Gulf coast in late August, the secretary said. (See Hurricane Recovery.)

The 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck at 8:50 a.m. local time and was centered about 95 kilometers from Islamabad in northern Pakistan, according to the U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS). Pakistan officials told wire services October 9 that the earthquake had killed more than 19,000 people and that the death toll could reach as high as 30,000.

For more information on U.S. policy, see Humanitarian Assistance and Refugees.

More information on the earthquake is available on the USGS Web site.

Following are the texts of the president’s and the secretary’s statements:

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
October 8, 2005
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

The people of the United States offer our deepest sympathies for the loss of life and destruction caused by the earthquake that struck outside of Islamabad. Our initial deployments of assistance are underway, and we stand ready to provide additional assistance as needed. My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this horrible tragedy.

(end Bush text)

(begin Rice text)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
October 8, 2005

Statement by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

Earthquake in Pakistan and India

I send my deepest condolences to all those affected by today's earthquake centered in northern Pakistan. The devastation in northern Pakistan and on both sides of the line of control in Kashmir is a terrible tragedy for the people of the region.

I spoke with the foreign ministers of both Pakistan and India this morning to convey our sympathy and offer whatever assistance may be needed.

At this difficult time, the United States stands with its friends in Pakistan and India, just as they stood with us and offered assistance after Hurricane Katrina.


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