Storms and tornado kill at least 26 in US
Dhe number of fatalities after the devastating tornado in the south of the USA has increased to at least 26. According to civil protection, 25 people were killed and dozens injured in the poorest US state of Mississippi alone, and according to media reports at least one person died in neighboring Alabama. The head of the national civil protection agency FEMA, Deanne Criswell, and Homeland Security Minister Alejandro Mayorkas wanted to visit the affected region this Sunday. The weather service warned of more violent storms.
At least one tornado swept through Mississippi on Friday evening (local time), and several storms raged in the region. The tornado caused devastation in the cities of Silver City and Rolling Fork in particular. Roofs were swept off houses, trees uprooted and power lines damaged. Some parts of the city were almost razed to the ground. “We will do everything we can to help,” promised the US President Joe Biden given the “heartbreaking” images from Mississippi.
Hailstones the size of chicken eggs
The tornado hit the ground in Rolling Fork around 8 p.m. Friday, the National Weather Service’s Lance Perrilloux told NPR. He then left a path of destruction over a distance of more than 270 kilometers within a good hour. “This is one of the rarer tornadoes that we’ve seen in Mississippi history based on longevity and strength over a period of time,” Perrilloux said. At least one other, weaker tornado may have hit the state, but that has not yet been confirmed.
For Sunday, the weather service warned of severe thunderstorms with hailstones that could reach the size of chicken eggs. Other tornadoes and gusts of wind with a speed of more than 110 kilometers per hour are also possible. The meteorologists assume that the storms will only weaken in the evening and are likely to be followed by isolated showers.
Mississippi is considered the poorest state in the USA, which is why such disasters hit the people there particularly hard. The reconstruction could drag on for many years. Around 2,000 people have lived in the almost completely destroyed small town of Rolling Fork – many of them in converted caravans. A large part of the population lives below the country’s poverty line.
“My city is gone. But we will be resilient and we will come back,” the city’s mayor, Eldridge Walker, said on US television on Saturday. When the storm warning came, he and his wife took shelter in the bathtub in their house. Now his city offers the picture of “complete devastation”.