Obama Offers U.S. Assistance to Earthquake-Stricken Japan

By Staff | March 11, 2011 | 6:56 AM EST

Washington (AP) - President Barack Obama has voiced condolences for the people who perished in the earthquake in Japan, saying the United States "stands ready to help" in any way it can.

At the same time, Obama said in a statement early Friday that his administration will "continue to closely monitor tsunamis around Japan and the Pacific going forward."

The largest earthquake in Japan's history -- measured at a magnitude of 8.9 -- pummeled the eastern coast of Japan Friday, accompanied by a towering tsunami. At least 32 people were killed.

Obama said he has told the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be ready to assist Hawaii and any other U.S. states and territories that might be affected. He said he's ready to support the Japanese people "in this time of great trial."