U.S. leaders at the national, state and local level have expressed concern about the disaster in Japan and have pledged to provide assistance.
President Barack Obama: “Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan, particularly those who have lost loved ones in the earthquake and tsunamis. The United States stands ready to help the Japanese people in this time of great trial. The friendship and alliance between our two nations is unshakeable, and only strengthens our resolve to stand with the people of Japan as they overcome this tragedy.
“We will continue to closely monitor tsunamis around Japan and the Pacific going forward and we are asking all our citizens in the affected region to listen to their state and local officials as I have instructed FEMA to be ready to assist Hawaii and the rest of the U.S. states and territories that could be affected.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton: “I join President Obama in offering our sincere condolences for the loss of life and damage caused by the earthquake and tsunamis in Japan. We are closely monitoring the tsunamis that may impact other parts the world, including Hawaii and the West Coast of the United States.
“The U.S. government has offered immediate disaster relief assistance, and we are working closely with the government of Japan to provide additional help. Our consular officers in Japan and in the United States are working to gather information and assist U.S. citizens in Japan who may have been affected by the earthquake.
“The United States is an unwavering friend and ally of Japan, and we are committed to helping Japan respond and recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan during this difficult time.”
Gov. Jerry Brown: “Our thoughts are with the people of Japan as they endure this tragedy. I have directed California’s Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) to make state resources available to the Japanese government, and we stand ready to assist them. Cal EMA has been on full alert since early this morning, and tsunami warnings were issued for the state’s coastal areas. I urge Californians living in affected areas to follow all instructions from state and federal response agencies.”
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii): “This morning at 4:30 a.m. EST I received a call from my wife Irene, who is in Tokyo leading a delegation of Japanese American community leaders. She told me that a horrendous earthquake struck Japan and triggered a tsunami. Since that moment I have been up to monitor the catastrophe. I am receiving multiple briefings, from the relevant federal agencies, first responders, and state and county officials in Hawaii.
“It is painful to see the photographs and to listen to the news reports chronicling the destruction and the horrific loss of life. I join President Obama in assuring the people of Japan that we will do our utmost to be of assistance during this tragic time.
“The people of Hawaii, fortunately, were well prepared, and I am reassured by the reports that the damage is limited. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan as they work to recover from this unspeakable tragedy.”
Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose): “My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the devastating earthquake on the eastern coast of Japan, and the resulting catastrophic tsunami that struck Japan and is currently moving throughout the Pacific, with the potential to impact Hawaii, Alaska, and the West Coast of the United States, including my state of California.
“President Obama has stated that the United States stands ready to help, and I join the president and the American people in pledging our assistance to the people of Japan as they recover from this terrible disaster.
“The United States Congress must stand united with our ally Japan and provide it with the resources it needs to respond and recover. I will work with my colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee to ensure that we make available the resources necessary to assist the Japanese government and the Japanese people during this time of suffering and distress.
“While we mourn the massive loss of lives, we recognize this is a time for action and a time for Congress to commit ourselves to assisting our friend and ally Japan.”
Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii): “My thoughts are with the people of Japan and my heartfelt condolences to those who lost loved ones in this devastating earthquake and tsunami. Hawaii’s familial and cultural ties to Japan are deep, and we mourn with you over the loss of life and the hardships people are facing due to this tragedy. I know that Hawaii and the United States stand ready to help in any way.
“My thanks to all of Hawaii’s first responders for taking appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors.”
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii): “My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families affected by this devastating earthquake and tsunami. The images of destruction are astonishing, and we want the people of Japan to know that Americans are ready to offer our support as they work to recover from this tragic disaster.
“I want to thank Hawaii’s residents for their patience and vigilance, and I extend my gratitude to our government officials and emergency responders for doing all they can to ensure everyone’s safety.”
“As we just witnessed, Hawaii’s location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean means we are at great risk of the threats posed by tsunamis, rapidly rising tides, hurricanes and severe weather patterns – so it’s unfortunate that House Republicans proposed to cut funding to the very agencies that watched over our state and everyone in the Pacific Rim today.
“Eliminating resources for agencies like the National Weather Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its Pacific Tsunami Warning Center would reduce their ability to forecast weather and alert our communities about imminent, life-threatening events. It is fiscally reckless and endangers the safety of Hawaii’s residents and visitors. I will do everything I can to ensure these vital agencies don’t fall prey to political posturing.”
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: “On behalf of all Angelenos, I want to extend our thoughts and prayers to the people of Japan, as well as to the family and friends of victims affected by this horrible tragedy. The City of Los Angeles stands ready and willing to help in any way it can to ease the suffering and aid in the recovery of this devastating earthquake.”
San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee: “On behalf of the residents of the City and County of San Francisco, I extend our deepest condolences to the people of Japan and to the families and friends of those affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck there today.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those whose lives have been impacted by this tragedy. I have contacted the consul general of Japan in San Francisco with our expression of sympathy and our willingness to join any international assistance effort.
“We will continue to monitor the tsunami warnings that have been issued for the California coastal regions and act accordingly. This is a stark reminder to our city that we must always be prepared for the next disaster to ensure our families are safe.”