At least 18 people have died as a result of strong tornadoes that have hit the Midwest and southern United States in recent hours. Thousands of people were left without electricity and even the roof of a theater where around 260 people were attending a heavy metal concert collapsed.
The exact number of dead is not known and could rise in the coming hours as emergency services in the hardest-hit states take to the streets to assess the damage and find survivors, sometimes going door-to-door, the agency said. EFE extension.
So far, local authorities have confirmed the deaths of seven people in Tennessee, five in Arkansas, three in Indiana, one in Alabama, one in Illinois and another in Mississippi.
Given the devastating impact of the tornadoes, US President Joe Biden communicated Saturday with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell, who is coordinating the federal response to the disaster.
The president also spoke by phone with Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Little Rock Mayors Frank Scott, Jr. and Wynn Mayor Jennifer Hobbs, who represent two of the Arkansas cities hardest hit by tornadoes, the House detailed. Bianca in a statement.
The governor of Arkansas, who between 2017 and 2019 was the spokesman of the White House with Donald Trump, mobilized 100 members of the National Guard reserve corps to respond to the disaster and declared a state of emergency to make available the resources of the State Service of research efforts.
In Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas, about 2,000 homes were damaged by tornadoes and at least 30 people were hospitalized, according to Mayor Frank Scott Jr.
“We know the neighbors in Little Rock are resilient and we will get through this together,” Scott Jr. said in a Twitter video Saturday, in which the wind could still be heard blowing hard.
In northern Illinois, tornadoes have left a scene of “absolute chaos,” in the words of Belvidere Police Chief Shane Woody, according to the Chicago Tribune.
In Sullivan (Indiana), strong winds and torrential rains have rendered some areas “unrecognizable”, said the mayor of the city, Clint Lamb, at a press conference this Saturday, assuring that the recovery process “will be very long”.
“Honestly, I’m surprised there wasn’t any more damage,” Lamb acknowledged, explaining that luckily for his city, the tornadoes passed through the South and didn’t pass through town.
Aside from human and infrastructure damage, the tornadoes left about 60,000 homes without power in Tennessee and 37,000 in Arkansas, two of the hardest-hit states, according to data from the PowerOutage.us website, which monitors this service.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), tornadoes were reported Friday night in seven states: Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Iowa and Mississippi.
The storm is expected to move east on Saturday, so warnings have been issued for high winds in Alabama and Georgia.
Tornadoes hit the Midwest and South just hours after Biden visited the city of Rolling Fork, Mississippi on Friday, which was devastated last week when a series of strong tornadoes struck the region, killing 26 people.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.