Tornados killed a hundred or more in the US - close to 100 000 people without power for weeks
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More than 50 tornadoes have devastated entire communities in six US states.The hope of finding survivors in the debris is starting to run out.
Six US states were struck by a tornado storm the night between Friday and Saturday. According to the governor of Kentucky, about 100 people have died, and bodies are still being discovered. According to state sources, the last weekend's storm is the deadliest ever in the state's history.
Buildings and homes are completely destroyed and large numbers of people can expect to be without power throughout the holidays. Temperatures are below freezing in many areas, making conditions difficult also for those not whose homes are still intact.
More difficult conditions are expected in the United States, as the weather system is moving further east on the continent.
Large rescue operation - 30 tornadoes reported on Saturday in six U.S. states
Kentucky, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee are the states that have been affected by the storm so far - and more windy conditions are forecasted. The National Guard has been called in to assist the region.
The FEMA disaster authority is on site in all affected states and an extensive rescue operation is underway.
About 90,000 households are estimated to be without electricity in Kentucky. Buildings that have not been damaged are being used as evacuation sites.
At least 88 people were confirmed dead on Monday, including 74 in the state of Kentucky, which has been affected the most. At least one death has also been reported in Missouri. One person allegedly died and several were injured in a nursing home in Tennessee, Arkansas, and there are reports of further deaths and people trapped inside buildings elsewhere in the state.
Four twisters hit Kentucky in total, including one with an extraordinarily long path of about 322 kilometres ( 200 miles) authorities said.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Monday that it has started an investigation after an Amazon warehouse collapsed in Illinois.
Many are stuck in debris under collapsed buildings and the death toll is expected to rise. As many as 100 people were still being reported as missing on Monday, and the hope of finding survivors has been diminishing with every passing hour.
According to CBC News, in the town of Bowling Green, Kentucky, 11 people died on the same street, including two infants found among the bodies of five relatives near a residence. This, according to Warren County coroner Kevin Kirby.
More than 10,000 homes and businesses have no water, and another 17,000 are under advisories to boil their drinking water, Kentucky Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett told reporters.
Dossett warned that full recovery in the hardest-hit places could take not just months, but years.
"This is probably one of the biggest tornado outbreaks in US history, said President Joe Biden in a speech on Saturday night. "People have lost their homes. They have lost their businesses. It's a tragedy. It's a tragedy. And we still do not know how many lives have been lost"
US President Joe Biden says he has been following developments closely and made promises that the affected states can now count on federal aid.
"I want to emphasize what I said to the governors (in affected states): the federal government will do everything, everything it can to help," Biden said.
The president plans to visit affected areas as soon as circumstances allow.
During the weekend, the storm is expected to move further east and stretch from northern Louisiana to southern Ohio. The risk of extremely difficult weather is still imminent.