Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has toured an aid and donation centre in an area of her home city that was heavily damaged by tornadoes.
Ms Rice said she was deeply moved by the damage in Birmingham, but she also expressed confidence that residents of Alabama are resilient enough to pull through.
She recalled driving through the area of hard-hit Pratt City as a young girl. She called last week's tornadoes a "very human tragedy".
Ms Rice was born and raised in Birmingham and still has family there. She was secretary of state under former president George Bush.