February 27th, 2010
02:08 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama stands by Chile, vows to prepare for potential tsunami

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/27/art.bochile0227.gi.jpg caption="President Obama gave a brief statement Saturday about the massive earthquake in Chile and preparations for a potential tsunami on U.S. shores."]
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama promised Saturday to assist Chile in the aftermath of a massive 8.8 earthquake, and vowed to prepare U.S. shores for a potential tsunami.

Related video: 'U.S. stands ready to assist'

"We can't control nature, but we can and must be prepared for disaster when it strikes," he said in a brief statement at the White House, speaking of a potential tsunami looming over parts of the Pacific, including Hawaii.

He urged citizens in Hawaii, Guam and American Samoa to listen carefully to local officials, and told citizens along the U.S. West Coast to be prepared as well, as "there may be dangerous waves and currents throughout the day."

Speaking of Chile, where the earthquake killed 147 people, Obama said the United States stands ready to assist in rescue and recovery efforts, should the country ask for American help.

He said he has reached out to Chilean President Michelle Bachelet "to let her know we will be there should the Chilean people need assistance," he said.

The president took no questions.

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Tom in Indy

    Obama: "We can't control nature..." Finally, a revelation.

    February 27, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. Texas Jack

    I wouldn't want this traitor to the U.S. standing by me.

    February 27, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |

    Obama thinks he is king of Tax Payers Money.
    How much will he give away this time, and how many troops?

    February 27, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    All this shameful exploitation of natural disasters in third world countries which are not worth the fuel it takes to get there are deliberate PR distractions fabricated by a President whose personal and political failings are coming home to roost sooner in his term than any other President in memory. Forget Haiti and Chile and do something useful for Americans whose Nation is crumbling under your fumbling fingers! Get rid of the admitted "campaign hacks" and get some experienced managers to work.

    February 27, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. Monster Zero

    "We can't control nature, but we can and must be prepared for disaster when it strikes,

    Wait a doggone minute, I thought Gore said we could control nature. Would you all get on the same page at the same time, either we can or we can't control nature..... By the way Mr. President since you have yet to notice, America is preparing for 2010/2012 to end the disaster known as the Obama/Pelosi/Reid disaster of 2008!

    February 27, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  6. ron uylaki

    My sister and brother in law are over in maui west coast. And we are praying for them. We hope to here that they will be ok. We hope our government will be ready to send in rescue units to provide for all the locals and american citizens

    February 27, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. terry,va.

    A tsunami is coming to DC that will carry Obummie and his drones away.

    February 27, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. jules sand-perkins

    This is another good thing that President Obama has done.
    I thought that Chile might be rather ignored, after our extensive efforts to help Haiti.
    It will be less frustrating to get aid to the people of Chile than it was to the Haitians.

    February 27, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. JT the college freshman from MO

    Even though my views do not accede the normal view of most Americans today in the religious spectrum (I'm a Deist), I think that this is one thing that we can come together on to help on. To help the people affected by this unfortunate event, it is important to what went on in Chile and the processes of how a Earthquake happens.
    An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. Earthquakes are recorded with a seismometer, also known as a seismograph. The moment magnitude (or the related and mostly obsolete Richter magnitude) of an earthquake is conventionally reported, with magnitude 3 or lower earthquakes being mostly imperceptible and magnitude 7 causing serious damage over large areas.
    Tectonic earthquakes will occur anywhere within the earth where there is sufficient stored elastic strain energy to drive fracture propagation along a fault plane. In the case of transform or convergent type plate boundaries, which form the largest fault surfaces on earth, they will move past each other smoothly and aseismically only if there are no irregularities or asperities along the boundary that increase the frictional resistance. Most boundaries do have such asperities and this leads to a form of stick-slip behaviour. Once the boundary has locked, continued relative motion between the plates leads to increasing stress and therefore, stored strain energy in the volume around the fault surface. This continues until the stress has risen sufficiently to break through the asperity, suddenly allowing sliding over the locked portion of the fault, releasing the stored energy. This energy is released as a combination of radiated elastic strain seismic waves, frictional heating of the fault surface, and cracking of the rock, thus causing an earthquake.
    What we can do to help is come together as one nation under a cause to help the less fortunate and the disaster effected; this will be a test to see if we can help those in need. What happened to them was extremely heart breaking to see; what the human race can do is put their pride behind them and put their moral judgement front and center.
    "Sometime in your life, hope that you might see one starved man, the look on his face when the bread finally arrives. Hope that you might have baked it or bought or even kneaded it yourself. For that look on his face, for your meeting his eyes across a piece of bread, you might be willing to lose a lot, or suffer a lot, or die a little, even." ~Daniel Berrigan

    February 27, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. kravitz

    A heart breaker. For the mainland US, remember how much food is imported from chile. That includes numerous vegetables and fruits.

    February 27, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. IKHAN

    Do we have the resources??
    its about time we Americans wake up , pressure our leaders & law makers to end the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan which achieve nothing but destruction,loss of life, more violence & are drain on our economy. No more talk of opening more fronts elsewhere.
    The treasure we are wasting on wars should instead go towards building reserves to be prepared for any catastrophe like these earthquakes on our soil & to help out other countries in such situations.
    Our tax dollars should not go to feed these wars but to prepare for such times, boost homeland security, our police forces,fire fighting capability, improving infrastructure, education, health care & welfare of the American people.
    Our troops should be home to protect our borders & assist if disaster in any form strikes.

    February 27, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. Ky Colonel

    Yeah, thats right Obama. Let's give Chili millions of dollars too, just like Haiti, New Orleans, and other places that is like pouring water down a rat hole. Do you think the poor people are really getting the money. He is so dumb, I dont think he has a clue!

    February 27, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  13. Albert R. K. . L.A., CA

    What a difference having a president who quickly responds to concerns of natural disaster rather then Bush who ignored the mass destruction following Katrina but created concerns about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and then borrowed trillions of dollars to start a war there just so his defense contractor buddies could get rich - “Mission Accomplished.”

    February 27, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. Mitchell from MS

    He is right. We can't control nature, but where is the money gonna come from to help Chile? With all the money given to Hati and the large tax increases proposed by Obama how is he going to provide money?

    The United States is broke! We need to fix our own house before we try and fix someone elses home.

    February 27, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |