A series of devastating tornadoes hit six U.S. states, killing at least 60 people in Kentucky.
A tornado swept across the state for more than 200 miles, destroying homes and businesses, officials said Saturday.
At least four tornadoes hit parts of Kentucky on Friday night, causing significant damage to more than a dozen counties, Kentucky Governor Andy Bearier said. The initial tornado traveled more than 226 miles (365 kilometers) across the state.
The death toll could rise to more than 100, he told a news conference Saturday morning, local time in the United States.
“I have never seen so much damage. We’re pretty sure we lost more than 50 Kentuckyans. I am now sure that this number is more than 60 people. It could be over a hundred before the end of the day. ”
He said 179 National Guard members had been deployed to assist in the emergency rescue operation.
The town of Mayfield, west of Kentucky, was the hardest hit, according to Reuters. In this small town of 10,000 inhabitants, Kentucky joins the neighboring states of Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas.
The epicenter was reported below the ground, however; no tsunami alert was issued. The roof of the factory collapsed, causing heavy casualties.
Kiana Parsons Perez, who was inside the factory, said that when workers heard the sound of the wind and felt its presence almost immediately, lightning flashed and the roof collapsed shortly afterwards.
Videos and photos posted on social media show that the concrete buildings in the center of Mayfield have collapsed into rubble, while cars parked nearby are almost buried under bricks and rubble.
A photo on Twitter shows the roof of a Graves County courthouse in Mayfield collapsing.
More than 56,000 people in Kentucky were without power on Saturday morning, Batiar said. He has declared a state of emergency in the state.
Tornadoes originate from a series of thunderstorms at night. Among them was a ‘super cell’ storm that originated north of Arkansas. The storm enters Missouri, Tennessee and Kentucky from Arkansas.
Roger Edwards, a meteorologist at the U.S. National Weather Service’s Storm Forecast Center, said: One of them has probably gone too far. The deadly tornado was part of it. “
At least five areas in at least five states were affected by the tornado, said Bill Bunting, chief of operations at the Storm Forecasting Center.
At least one person was killed and at least five others were injured when a tornado shattered the roof of a nursing home in the northern state of Missouri’s Monet area, local officials in Arkansas said.
A few miles away, a shop was destroyed and one was killed in the Lichwell area of the state.
Authorities in Illinois say the roof of a warehouse belonging to e-commerce giant Amazon partially collapsed Friday night as a tornado and tornado swept over Edwardsville, near the city of St. Louis, leaving several people trapped inside.
At least three people have been killed in bad weather in Tennessee, said Dean Flanner, a spokesman for the state’s emergency management agency.
A freight train derailed west of Kentucky shortly after midnight, but no casualties were reported.
The U.S. National Weather Service’s Storm Forecast Center said it had received 36 reports of tornadoes from Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi.