Obama warns Americans to heed tsunami warnings

In press conference, the president tells Americans to heed warnings and follow instructions of local authorities

Published February 27, 2010 7:26PM (EST)

President Barack Obama says the U.S. is preparing for a tsunami that could reach American shores and he wants people in Hawaii, American Samoa and Guam to follow the instructions of local authorities.

A tsunami warning -- the highest alert level -- is in effect for those Pacific Ocean locations after a powerful earthquake struck Chile.

Obama also is encouraging people along the West Coast to be prepared for the possibility of dangerous waves and currents.

The president says the U.S. is ready Chile with rescue and recovery efforts. He says the U.S. has resources that are in position to deploy should the Chilean government ask for U.S. assistance.

Obama spoke at the White House on Saturday afternoon after a conference call with Cabinet officials and White House staff.

By Associated Press

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Barack Obama Chile Earthquake