Tornadoes ripped through five US states overnight, leaving more than 50 people feared dead Saturday in Kentucky and causing multiple fatalities at an Amazon warehouse in Illinois that suffered “catastrophic damage” with around 100 people trapped inside.
The western Kentucky town of Mayfield was “ground zero” of the storm — a scene of “massive devastation,” one official said.
Entire city blocks there were flattened, with houses and buildings ripped apart, and twisted metal, shattered tree limbs and bricks scattered across streets, according to pictures and videos shared on social media.
“I fear that there are more than 50 dead … probably closer to somewhere between 70 and 100, it’s devastating,” Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said, adding that it was the most severe tornado event in the state’s history.
The roof of a candle factory collapsed in Mayfield, resulting in “mass casualties” there, Beshear said.
At least one person died when a tornado “pretty much destroyed” a nursing home in the Arkansas town of Monette, a county official said. Another person died elsewhere in the state, local media reported.
Towns in Missouri and Tennessee were affected as well by some of the most powerful tornadoes to hammer the area in years.
President Joe Biden tweeted that the massive storms had inflicted an “unimaginable tragedy” on the area and vowed to provide all needed federal aid.
Lori Wooton was at her daughter’s home in the Kentucky town of Dawson Springs — about 70 miles northwest of Mayfield — when, she said, the storm came on with stunning swiftness.
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“평생 사상가. 웹 광신자. 좀비 중독자. 커뮤니케이터. 창조자. 프리랜서 여행 애호가.”