At least five people were killed and five others injured after a tornado slammed the US state of Missouri, authorities said.
Glen Allen, a town about 100 miles south of St. Louis, took a direct hit from what Doppler radar indicated was likely a tornado of EF-2 or EF-3 strength at about 3.45 a.m. Wednesday, Xinhua news agency quoted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center as saying.
There is a large debris field, and damage appears to be extensive, Missouri state emergency management officials said.
The Missouri Highway Patrol tweeted that they were assisting agencies in Bollinger County in search and recovery efforts near Glen Allen, reports USA Today.
Twelve structures were destroyed and dozens more damaged, authorities said.
“The damage is pretty widespread. It’s just heartbreaking to see it,” USA Today quoted Sgt. Clark Parrott of the Missouri Highway Patrol as saying.
He added that crews had to use chainsaws to cut back trees and brush to reach homes.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson toured the storm damage area and said President Joe Biden called to assure him of federal help.
Severe weather and tornado risks are moving east, according to AccuWeather meteorologists.
A band of the country from Louisiana to western New York could be at risk for severe thunderstorms.
Dangerous winds and severe thunderstorms were possible in at least 10 states, including Illinois, Iowa and Missouri, on Wednesday.
More than 45 million Americans were under tornado, severe thunderstorm or wind watch advisories.
Affected by severe weather, delays were reported at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports on Wednesday morning.
The latest line of destructive weather comes less than a week after dozens of tornadoes roared through the Midwest and South, killing more than 30 people and damaging thousands of homes and businesses.
At least 63 people have been killed in this early part of the season for severe storms.