China Offers U.S. Humanitarian Assistance Following Kentucky Tornado Disaster

China has offered humanitarian assistance to the U.S. over the tornado disaster that swept across several Midwestern and Southern states Friday night, with Mayfield, Kentucky among the hardest hit.

A spokesperson for the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), a vice-ministerial agency of the People's Republic of China, made the announcement during a press briefing on Monday afternoon.

"We have noticed that a number of U.S. states have been hit by severe tornadoes recently, causing significant casualties and property damage," CIDCA spokesperson Xu Wei told reporters, according to state-run media CGTN.

"We expressed our condolences and willingness to provide emergency humanitarian help to the affected people according to the needs of the U.S. side," he added.

At least 100 people are feared to have been killed in Kentucky after a tornado struck Mayfield, a city of about 10,000 in the state's west.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear described the devastation as "unlike anything I have seen in my life."

Footage and images of towns like Mayfield affected by the extreme weather conditions show the extent of the damage.

According to CGTN, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters on Monday that Beijing expresses its condolences for the casualties and economic losses caused by tornadoes and severe storms that hit the U.S. on Friday.

"China hopes that the injured Americans will recover soon and rebuild their homes as soon as possible," he said.

A candle factory in Mayfield was among many buildings to have collapsed, with 110 people inside at the time.

One worker in a livestream on Facebook while trapped under the rubble said the building had been "completely demolished."

At least six people were killed in Illinois, after an Amazon warehouse was damaged. Four people were killed in Tennessee, two died in Arkansas, and another two perished in Missouri.

Beshear said the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund has so far received $2.3 million from 18,031 donations.

"I want to thank everybody for standing with the people of Kentucky, we feel it. In fact, one of our biggest challenges right now is organizing the amount of people that want to help, want to donate ... that's the best challenge that any of us could ask for," the governor said, thanking first responders for their "incredible heroism."

President Joe Biden meanwhile moved swiftly to grant the federal state of emergency, which authorized FEMA to begin with response efforts.

"You can't understand how this has impacted these communities until you're there, which is why it's so important for me to be here, to see it for myself, so we can make sure we're providing the right level of assistance to help with your response and your ongoing recovery," FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell told reporters.

Newsweek has contacted Gov. Beshear's office for comment.

Tornado damage in Mayfield, Kentucky
People embrace as tornado damage is seen after extreme weather hit the region December 12, 2021, in Mayfield, Kentucky. - Dozens of devastating tornadoes roared through five US states overnight, leaving more than 80 people dead Saturday in what President Joe Biden said was "one of the largest" storm outbreaks in history. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images