At least 23 dead after tornado hits Mississippi

Devastated streets and lost lives: the state of Mississippi, in the United States, was hit by a tornado and thunderstorms. At least 23 people were killed, the governor of this southern state of the United States said on Saturday, leaving a ravaged landscape in their wake.

“We know that many more (people) are injured. Search and rescue teams are still active,” Governor Tate Reeves said on Twitter.

Mississippi State Emergency Services further noted on Twitter, “Unfortunately, these numbers are expected to change” on the upside.

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 on 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.

Rolling Fork resident Shanta Howard told local broadcaster WAPT, “I thought I was dead” after the tornado hit. “We had to help get dead bodies” out of houses, she said.

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.

Saturday at 2:48 a.m. (07:48 GMT), the branch of the National Weather Service (NWS) of Jackson, the capital of Mississippi, indicated that “the watch for tornadoes was lifted throughout the area concerned”.

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“Further showers and more thunderstorms are expected in our area,” he tweeted, stressing that “they shouldn’t be heavy based on the forecast.”

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