President Obama pledges federal help after deadly tornadoes rip through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas

MANILA, Philippines - President Barack Obama is sending his deepest condolences to those affected by deadly tornadoes that ripped through the Midwest and the South Sunday.

Obama says he wants everyone affected to know that the federal government is on the ground to help. He says the Federal Emergency Management Agency will work with local officials.

PHOTO GALLERY: Damage from April 27, 2014 tornadoes

"Your country will be there to help you recover and rebuild, as long as it takes," said the president.

Obama is also praising the heroic efforts of first responders and neighbors.

A broad tornado killed at least 16 when it sliced through suburbs in Arkansas Sunday at the start of the U.S. tornado season. Another person died in Oklahoma.

Obama spoke at a joint news conference with Philippine President Benigno Aquino while traveling in Asia.

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