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THE WHITE HOUSE

                     Office of the Press Secretary
                           (Santiago, Chile)
________________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                     April 16, 1998

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

I was deeply saddened to learn this morning of the tragic deaths of two small children in Arkansas, as well as the deaths of two individuals from Dyer County, Tennessee. My heart goes out to their parents and families and to the many who have suffered in both states. The destruction of last night's tornadoes was swift and powerful, and the threat of another storm looms in its wake.

Disaster relief efforts began today at daybreak. James Lee Witt, the Director of FEMA, will provide me with an assessment of the destruction and FEMA is standing ready to respond if appropriate. The burden of recovery is heavy, but it will not be carried by these communities alone. Our thoughts and prayers are with the survivors as they mourn all that was lost and begin the difficult process of healing and rebuilding.

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