US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released an official statement on Friday, August 7, expressing the country’s reaction towards the terrible destruction throughout Beirut, Lebanon.
A devastating explosion had taken place in the capital city of Beirut on Tuesday, August 4, when 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate ignited as a result of a warehouse fire. The outcome was a blast so powerful, that even Cyprus could feel the shock wave, according to reports.
This incredible tragedy has left nations in a state of shock and mourning, with world leaders taking action by pledging aid in order to support the recovery efforts and those affected.
Secretary of State Pompeo wrote in the following official statement:
“We mourn the loss of life from the horrible tragedy that caused such tremendous destruction to Beirut earlier this week. We pray for the survivors and their families and for all the Lebanese people as they struggle to put their lives and city back together. The United States has already pledged more than $17 million in initial disaster aid for Lebanon, which includes food assistance and medical supplies. This assistance augments the $403 million in U.S. humanitarian assistance to Lebanon since September 2019, including $41.6 million in assistance for the COVID response. We join others in the call for a thorough and transparent investigation into the cause of this explosion. The Lebanese people deserve accountability and a government that prioritizes the safety and prosperity of its citizens. No nation is more generous or compassionate than the United States, and we will continue to help the Lebanese people as they recover from this tragedy.”
End of statement.
According to reports, the explosion that took place in the capital city of Lebanon has left at least 137 people dead and a further 5,000 injured, with the number expected to grow.
A research team from the University of Sheffield estimated the strength of the blast to be around 1.5 kilotons equivalent to TNT, making it around a tenth of the strength of the atomic bomb that was dropped on the Japanese City of Hiroshima during World War II.
The massive blast was also compared to the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast by the team, which is known to be the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in current military use.
Many charities and organizations around the globe have also donated funds and resources in order to support the blast victims in Beirut.