UNITED STATES: Almost two dozen people were killed by strong tornadoes that blasted through Mississippi, damaging homes and at least one town, officials said on Saturday.
A tornado and powerful thunderstorms that dropped hail the size of golf balls blasted across several southern states on Friday, killing at least 23 people and injuring scores more as they tore through Mississippi.
According to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, there were 23 fatalities, several injuries, and four individuals still unaccounted for across the state. The organisation announced on Twitter that staff and search-and-rescue teams from many local and state agencies had been sent out to help individuals impacted by the tornadoes.
As the tornado rushed northeast at 70 mph (113 km/h) without slowing down and raced towards Alabama, the small communities of Silver City and Rolling Fork reported destruction. In these towns, the loss will always be felt. Governor of Mississippi Tate Reeves tweeted, “Please pray for God’s hand to be over all who lost family and friends.”
The media portals reported that the Sharkey County Sheriff’s Office near Rolling Fork had received reports of gasoline spills and people trapped behind debris fields. According to the post, Sharkey had some law enforcement officers who went missing.
On the west side of Rolling Fork, at the Sharkey-Issaquena community hospital, the damage was reportedly done, according to WAPT. In and around Rolling Fork, one may observe vast expanses of soybean, corn, and cotton fields in addition to catfish farming ponds.
Tate Reeves, the governor of Mississippi, stated on Twitter on Friday night that rescue teams were working and that more ambulances and other emergency resources were being sent to the areas most in need.
Towns in rural Mississippi are devastated by tornado
Eldridge Walker, the mayor of Rolling Fork, told WLBT-TV that he was unable to leave his damaged home shortly after the tornado touched down because electrical lines were down. He claimed that first responders were attempting to transport injured people to hospitals.
Cornel Knight claimed that across a large cornfield from where he was, a different relative’s home was struck by the tornado. A wall in the house collapsed, enclosing many inhabitants. In a telephone interview with the AP, Knight claimed that he could see the emergency vehicles’ lights at the partially collapsed house.
According to Walker Ashley, who was talking about it with his colleagues as early as March 17, meteorologists had predicted a significant tornado danger for the entire region as early as a week in advance. On March 19, he claimed, the National Weather Service’s storm prediction centre issued a long-range advisory for the region.
Matt Elliott, a meteorologist who coordinates warnings for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s storm prediction centre in Norman, Oklahoma, said that severe weather was expected throughout a number of states.
In parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee, according to the storm prediction centre, there will be the greatest risk of tornadoes. From eastern Texas and south-eastern Oklahoma into areas of southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois, storms with severe winds and hail were predicted.
According to Cody Powell, the county’s emergency management coordinator, a possible tornado occurred in Texas at around 5 a.m. in the southwest quadrant of Wise County, causing damage to homes, trees, and electrical lines. Powell claimed there were no recorded injuries.
With a Level 2 out of 5 danger of destructive winds, solitary tornadoes, and large hail, more severe storms are anticipated for the area on Sunday. Jackson, Mississippi, Columbus, and Macon, Georgia, as well as Montgomery, Alabama, will all be affected. Flooding is also conceivable, according to meteorologists, with an additional 2 to 4 inches of rain expected through Sunday.
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