President Barack Obama expressed his condolences and offered federal assistance to the state during a call with Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe on Sunday.

According to a White House press release, Obama expressed his condolences for those families who lost a loved one and his concern for the individuals still missing. He expressed his gratitude for the heroic first responders working to save lives.

Obama will send officials to Arkansas to “ensure the appropriate federal resources are being brought” to support state and local efforts, the release said. He asked Beebe to inform him and his team of any additional resources that could be provided to help the communities impacted by Sunday’s storms.

As of 11 a.m. Monday, 16 people were confirmed dead in the state after a broad tornado sliced through central Arkansas Sunday. Another fatality was confirmed in Oklahoma as well.

Obama spoke at a joint news conference with Philippine President Benigno Aquino while traveling in Asia. He said people hit by the disaster should know that “your country will be there to help you recover and rebuild, as long as it takes.”

- GateHouse Media