At least 23 people were killed and dozens were injured after a tornado and heavy thunderstorms hit Mississippi last night, the state Emergency Management agency said.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said in a series of tweets that four people were missing as search and rescue teams searched for survivors after the storm hit Silver City, a town of 200 people in western Mississippi.
“Unfortunately, these numbers are expected to change,” it said, referring to the death number, reports RTE.
Search and rescue teams were also in Rolling Fork, a city of 1,700 that saw the brunt of the tornado, CNN reported.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Brandy Showah told CNN. “This was a very great small town, and now it’s gone,” reports RTE.
Ms. Showa told the network that her grandmother’s house had been damaged.
“My friend was trapped in her home a few houses down, but we got her out,” Ms Showah said, adding that there were people who live next to her grandmother still trapped in their houses, reports RTE.
Todd Terrell, president of the United Cajun Navy, told ABC News that Rolling Fork was “pretty much devastated” and many people were trapped in their homes. His group is a team of volunteer rescuers.
Mr. Terrell likened the destruction to a tornado in Joplin, Missouri in 2011 that killed 161 people.
At least 24 tornado reports were submitted to the National Weather Service last night and this morning by storm chasers and observers.
Reports ranged from the western edge of the Mississippi north through the center of the state to Alabama, reports RTE.
Images of the destruction released by news networks showed entire buildings left in rubble and cars turned on their sides as people scrambled through the rubble in the dark.
“Many in the MS Delta need your prayer and God’s protection tonight. We have activated medical support – surging more ambulances and other emergency assets for those affected. Search and rescue is active,” Governor Tate Reeve said in a tweet, reports RTE.
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