Destroyed houses, overturned cars, uprooted trees: A rare series of hurricanes has devastated entire country areas in seven states.
A series of tornadoes have killed several people and caused severe damage in the United States. US media reported on Saturday, citing authorities and rescue services, that at least 18 people had died and dozens injured. A total of around 50 hurricanes that could be classified as tornadoes were counted in seven states. Media spoke of a rare “monster storm system” that stretched from the southern United States to the Great Lakes region in the north.
According to the weather service, the states of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Mississippi and Tennessee were particularly affected. Tens of thousands of homes were without power, at least temporarily, according to data from poweroutage.us.
Roof collapses at concert
In the small town of Belvidere, Illinois, the roof of an event building partially collapsed during a severe storm during a concert. According to the media, at least one person was killed and dozens more injured. According to fire chief Shawn Schadle, 5 people were taken to the hospital with serious, 18 with moderate and 5 with minor injuries. At the time of the collapse, a storm was raging with gusts of up to 145 kilometers per hour.
Shocking tornado 🌪️ in #LittleRockUNITED STATES.
A powerful tornado hit Arkansas on Friday, causing severe damage to homes and businesses. pic.twitter.com/SQpM3J01ys
— Meteored | daswetter (@MeteoredDE) April 1, 2023
According to the authorities, 260 people were in the building when the roof collapsed. The concert was sold out. Death metal bands Morbid Angel, Revocation and Skeletal Remains were on the program at the Apollo Theater. Belvidere has around 25,000 residents and is a good 100 kilometers from Chicago.
Significant damage in Little Rock and around Arkansas
Hours earlier, a tornado hit the town of Little Rock and the surrounding area, Arkansas. Images from local television stations showed uprooted trees, overturned vehicles and torn roofs. Pulaski County, to which the city belongs, reported one fatality. At least 50 people have been taken to hospitals, a spokeswoman for the district told CNN. According to a local broadcaster, the local rescue service in Little Rock had expected 600 injuries on Friday. However, this fear was not confirmed until Saturday.
Four more fatalities were reported from the village of Wynne, around 150 kilometers away. Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders declared a state of emergency and mobilized 100 National Guardsmen to help with rescue and cleanup efforts. She spoke of significant damage and a “very hard day” for the state.
Emergency services coordinator: “It hit us hard”
Three people were also killed in a violent storm in Sullivan County, Indiana, the New York Times wrote, citing local police. Several homes were damaged, police spokesman Matt Ames told CNN. “It hit us hard,” said emergency services coordinator Jim Pirtle.
The White House said on Saturday that US President Joe Biden had spoken to the governor of Arkansas, as well as the mayors of Little Rock and Wynne. He was also in contact with the civil protection authority Fema.
A tornado killed at least 26 people in the states of Mississippi and Alabama just a week ago. On Friday, Biden and his wife Jill visited the small town of Rolling Fork, Mississippi, which had been particularly hard hit by the storm.
The Bidens got an idea of the destruction in the 2,000-inhabitant community and met, among other things, the mayor of the city and affected residents. “You are not alone,” Biden said amid the rubble of destroyed homes and uprooted trees. “The American people will stand by you. It will help you get through here – and so will I.”
#Tornadoes #kill #people
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