At least 23 people were killed during the passage of a tornado and thunderstorms in Mississippi, said Saturday the governor of this southern state of the United States, leaving in their wake a devastated landscape.
“We know that many more (people) are injured. Search and rescue teams are still active.Governor Tate Reeves said on Twitter.
The Mississippi State Emergency Services (MSEMA) further noted on Twitter: “Unfortunately, these numbers are expected to change” on the rise.
In Rolling Fork, a town of some 2,000 people in west-central Mississippi, footage Saturday morning showed entire rows of homes torn from their meager foundations, streets littered with debris and cars flipped onto their roofs.
Trees were uprooted and pieces of metal wrapped around the trunks while for one house, still standing but wobbly, the floor collapsed. “My town no longer exists”, Rolling Fork Mayor Eldridge Walker told CNN. According to the city councilor, several victims were located and removed from the debris of their homes, to be taken to hospitals and treated.
“Houses that have been torn away can be replaced, but you cannot replace a life”, said Edlridge Walker. Rolling Fork resident Shanta Howard told local broadcaster WAPT: "I thought I was dead" after the tornado hit. "We had to help get the bodies out" of homes, she said.
"Like a train"
“The losses will be felt in these towns forever”, Governor Tate Reeves tweeted, asking to pray for the victims and their families. According to ABC, at least 13 people died in Sharkey County, along with three in neighboring Carroll County and two others in Monroe County. Separately, a Silver City, Humphreys County police officer reported one person dead to ABC. “We heard a noise, like it was a train, for 45 seconds to a minute; then it was over", Woodrow Johnson, a local Humphrey County official, told CNN about the tornado. Visibly moved, he said he lost his house.
“We are strong, we will persevere, and we will recover”added Woodrow Johnson.
Malory White of MSEMA told local channel WJTV that the “priority at this stage” was to ensure "the safety of living people and locating people to verify that they are safe". Tornado warnings had been issued Friday in several counties in Mississippi. As of 2:48 a.m. Saturday (0748 GMT), the National Weather Service (NWS) branch in Jackson, the capital of Mississippi, reported that “tornado surveillance was lifted in the entire area concerned”. “New showers and other thunderstorms are expected in our area”he tweeted, noting that"they shouldn't be strong according to the forecasts".
Source : Nouvelobs
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