Pompeo offers US help to Lebanon after 'horrible tragedy'

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing on the State Department's 2021 budget on Capitol Hill Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Washington. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)

Secretary of State on Tuesday offered US assistance to after was rocked by massive blasts.

"We are monitoring and stand ready to assist the people of Lebanon as they recover from this horrible tragedy," Pompeo wrote on Twitter.

Pompeo in an accompanying statement said that the United States will wait for the findings of Lebanese authorities on the cause of the explosions, which killed at least 50 people and flattened the Mediterranean city's harborside.

"Our team in Beirut has reported to me the extensive damage to a city and a people that I hold dear, an additional challenge in a time of already deep crisis," said Pompeo, who has spoken in the past of his personal interest in Lebanon.

The US embassy in Beirut encouraged Americans in the city to take shelter.

"There are reports of toxic gases released in the explosion so all in the area should stay indoors and wear masks if available," it said in a security alert.

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