Tornado and storm kill 23 in Mississippi

WASHINGTON: At least 23 people were killed as a devastating tornado ripped across the southern US state of Mississippi, tearing off roofs, smashing cars and flattening entire neighborhoods. The state’s emergency management agency said Saturday that at least four people were missing and dozens were injured, while tens of thousands of people in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee were without power.

The powerful storm system that generated the tornado, accompanied by thunderstorms and driving rain, cut a long path across the state late Friday, slamming several towns along the way. In the town of Rolling Fork, home to less than 2,000 people, an entire row of houses and buildings was demolished, leaving only scattered debris. Cars were overturned, fences were ripped up and trees uprooted, television footage showed.

“My city is gone,” Rolling Fork Mayor Eldridge Walker told CNN. “Devastation-as I look from left to right, that’s all I see.” Patricia Perkins, who works at a hardware store in the town, told AFP that “most everything is wiped away.” Resident Shanta Howard told ABC affiliate WAPT that locals had to help remove the dead from the wreckage of their homes. “It was like no notice. We didn’t know what was happening,” a tearful Tracy Harden, the owner of Chuck’s Dairy Bar in Rolling Fork, told CNN.- AFP

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