Politics

Obama to tornado-ravaged Moore, Oklahoma: 'We have your back'

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US President Barack Obama is greeted as he tours a tornado affected area on May 26, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. Obama is in the Oklahoma City area to survey damage from the tornado which struck a week ago and meet with victims and first responders.

Credit:

Mandel Ngan

President Obama was in Moore, Oklahoma Sunday, to tour the damage of last week's tornado that left 24 dead and hundreds injured. 

The storm that hit the Oklahoma City suburb on May 20 flattened homes, two schools and a hospital in around 50 minutes.

It was the deadliest storm to hit the US since Joplin, Missouri's disaster in 2011, and registered at the top of the Fujita scale used to measure tornado strength. 

"Obviously a picture is worth a thousand words; we see what the people of Moore have been dealing with," Obama said in brief remarks Sunday as he walked through the wreckage. 

"This area has known more of its share of heartbreak, but the people pride themselves on the "Oklahoma standard.' Oklahomans have inspired us with their love and their courage and their fellowship," he added. 

Obama has pledged the full breadth of federal resources to aid Moore in its recovery, despite ongoing battles with Republican lawmakers about scaling back federal programs like the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

"We have your back," the President said Sunday.  

He will offer comfort to those who lost loved ones and thank the first responders during his four-hour visit

"As a nation, our full focus right now is on the urgent work of rescue and the hard work of recovery and rebuilding that lies ahead," the president said in a White House statement on the storm. "Our prayers are with the people of Oklahoma today, and we will back up those prayers with deeds for as long as it takes."

Officials said that 2,200 people in Oklahoma had registered for relief aid through FEMA, the New York Times reported

More from GlobalPost: Tornado rips through Oklahoma, killing dozens (VIDEO)