Severe tornadoes in Mississippi and Alabama have caused widespread damage, leaving at least 26 people dead and hundreds displaced. Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has warned that more severe weather could be on the way.
Aftermath of the tornadoes
The tornadoes left a trail of destruction, with trees uprooted, trucks overturned into houses, and power lines brought down. At least 25 people died in Mississippi, while one person died in neighbouring Alabama. Survivors of the disaster were seen walking around in shock and daze, and hundreds were displaced. Crews have been working to remove broken trees that are pinning down power lines, with thousands of people losing power during the storm.
Volunteers from neighbouring states have been helping with the clean-up operation. They have been helping to remove debris and provide aid to those affected by the disaster. President Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency and deployed federal resources to help with the rescue and response in some of the worst-hit towns.
State of emergency declared by President Biden
President Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency and deployed federal resources to help with the rescue and response in some of the worst-hit towns. Stations have been set up outside some of the few buildings still partially standing where people can collect water and sandwiches.
Further storms predicted
Governor Reeves has warned that more severe weather could be on the way. "If you are south of I-55 in Mississippi today there are significant risks. We are prepared," he said.
Governor praises local response
Governor Reeves praised the local response, saying "Because Mississippians have done what Mississippians do, In times of tragedy, in times of crisis, they stand up and they show up, and they're here to help themselves, help their neighbours."
In the town of Rolling Fork, the extent of the devastation is still difficult to comprehend. Mayor Eldridge Walker said the town would come back "bigger and better than ever before" to rounds of applause from those who gathered. Debris is strewn across the acres of farmland that surround the town, where parts of buildings and vehicles were deposited.
Homeland Security Secretary promises help
US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has pledged to help the people of Mississippi, "not just today but for the long haul". "It is inspiring to see the people of Mississippi come together... and the people of this country come together to assist those in dire need," he said.
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