WASHINGTON - PRESIDENT Barack Obama on Tuesday voiced sadness at the lives lost in a tsunami in Indonesia and pledged US help.

First Lady 'Michelle (Obama) and I are deeply saddened by the loss of life, injuries, and damage that have occurred as a result of the recent earthquake and tsunami in West Sumatra,' Mr Obama said.

'At the same time, I am heartened and encouraged by the remarkable resiliency of the Indonesian people and the commitment of their Government to rapidly assist the victims,' he said, adding that: 'as a friend of Indonesia, the United States stands ready to help in any way'.

At least 108 people were killed, and hundreds remained missing Wednesday, after a tsunami smashed into a remote Indonesian island chain while in central Java a volcanic eruption left 13 people dead.

The 7.7-magnitude quake struck in the Mentawai Islands area west of Sumatra late Monday, generating waves as high as 3m that swept away 10 villages.

The US president lived in Indonesia for four years as a boy with his late mother, and has often spoken fondly of his memories of that time.

Obama sends condolences