Obama prays for mudslide victims

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IOL pic mar25 Washington Mudslide aerial view Associated Press The massive mudslide is shown in this aerial photograph on March 24, 2014, near Arlington, Washington. The search for survivors grew on Monday, raising fears that the death toll could climb far beyond the confirmed number of fatalities. Picture: Ted S. Warren

The Hague - President Barack Obama is asking Americans to send their thoughts and prayers to Washington state as search operations continue following a devastating mudslide.

Obama says part of the tight-knit community of Oso, Wash., has been lost. He says first responders have acted bravely and people have come forward to help fellow citizens.

Obama says he's spoken with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and signed an emergency declaration for the state. He says his administration is in ongoing contact with state officials.

Obama says, quote, “We hope for the best, but we recognize this is a tough situation.”

At least 14 people are confirmed dead and dozens more are thought to be unaccounted for or missing.

Obama spoke at a news conference in the Netherlands with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.


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