After a tornado ripped across the US state of Mississippi on Friday night, at least 23 people have died.
More victims are reportedly believed to be buried beneath the wreckage of demolished buildings.
Tens of thousands of power outages were reported, and the twister destroyed several rural settlements where trees and electricity lines were destroyed.
In addition, several other southern states are preparing for severe storms.
In some sections of the state, golf ball-sized hail and significant rains have been observed.
It’s unclear at this time if the area was affected by a single tornado or multiple. Despite yesterday’s National Weather Service warning that many tornadoes were expected, it’s conceivable that a single “skipping tornado”—a twister that rises from the ground only to touch down again—was to blame for the destruction.
Residents of the little village of Rolling Fork in western Mississippi claimed that a tornado destroyed the back windows of their houses. According to reports, the destruction is particularly severe in the area.
Brandy Showah, a local, said to CNN, “I’ve never seen anything like this… This once-famous tiny village is no longer there.
Before the tornado hit, it was “eerily quiet,” according to Cornel Knight, who was at a relative’s house in Rolling Fork with his wife and their 3-year-old daughter. Although the sky was pitch black, he claimed that “you could see the direction from every transformer that blew.”
He claimed that when the tornado hit the home of a different relative, a wall fell and trapped numerous people inside.
While certain Sharkey County law enforcement personnel are missing in action, some folks were stuck in debris heaps.
According to Sam Emmerson of the University of Oklahoma’s School of Meteorology, the “extremely high-calibre” tornado lifted debris above 30,000 feet. (9144m).
Concerned about the power of the tornado that was about to destroy the town of Amery, one local weather forecaster briefly interrupted his TV forecast to say a prayer for the locals.
Tate Reeves, the governor of Mississippi, stated on Twitter that rescue and search teams were offering medical assistance to individuals in need.
Tonight, many people in the Mississippi Delta are in need of your prayers and God’s protection. Watch the weather reports and exercise caution all night, Mississippi!” wrote Mr. Reeves.
The National Weather Service said that cleanup was already in progress when Mississippi awoke to the disaster on Saturday morning, but issued a warning that residents should avoid downed electrical lines, avoid entering damaged buildings, and avoid walking in floodwaters.