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13 Apr, 2020 00:46

At least 7 dead after TORNADOES wreak havoc across southern US states, leveling homes & knocking power lines (VIDEOS)

Several people died after powerful tornadoes swept through parts of southern America, damaging homes, knocking down power lines and blocking roads with uprooted trees. Louisiana and Mississippi have been hit the hardest.

At least seven people were killed after tornadoes combined with severe rainstorms battered Mississippi. One fatality was confirmed in Walthall County, two in Lawrence County, three in Jefferson Davis County, and another one in Jones County as of Sunday evening.

Footage posted on social media show trees crashing down on houses and blocking roads, and windows shattered in some of the buildings.

Tornadoes left a heavy trail of destruction in Monroe, Louisiana, where some 300 homes were either razed to the ground or damaged, according to local police. Monroe Regional Airport has also sustained heavy damage from at least one tornado.

Multiple videos and photos taken in the aftermath of the devastating twister show homes reduced to piles of debris, as well as damaged cars.

The city said that it is scrambling to provide some 200 hotel rooms for those left homeless as a result of the calamity.

Despite major damage inflicted on Monroe, it is believed that no one has been seriously hurt, with Mayor Jamie Mayo tweeting that “early reports show only a few minor injuries.”

“Pray for our city! Many neighbors & friends suffered catastrophic damage. We are hurting; but not broken,” he said.

Earlier on Sunday, a tornado touched down in central Texas, about 50 miles east of Austin, knocking down trees and power lines in its path.

Tornado warnings have been also issued for parts of Alabama, Georgia and Arkansas. 

With severe weather disabling power lines, thousands of homes were left without electricity on Easter Sunday. Some 36,000 homes and businesses have been affected by blackouts in Louisiana as of Sunday evening, while over 23,000 customers in Alabama and at least 20,000 more in Mississippi were left in the dark.

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The situation has been exacerbated by lockdown measures currently in place across the US to fight the coronavirus pandemic that has infected over 555,000 people across the country and killed over 22,000. Amid concerns that seeking shelter from approaching tornadoes would aid the spread of the disease, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) urged people to follow social distancing guidelines even when running for safety, advising that “if a public tornado shelter is your best available refuge from severe weather, take steps to ensure you follow CDC [federal] guidelines for physical distancing and disease prevention.”

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