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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Tornadoes wreak havoc across US south and midwest regions

1 April: A series of powerful tornadoes swept through several states in the south and midwest of the US, causing widespread damage and casualties. Homes and businesses were destroyed, power lines and trees were knocked down, and cars and trucks were overturned by the fierce winds. Many people had to seek shelter as the storm system moved eastward on Friday (US time).

One of the hardest-hit areas was Wynne, a town in eastern Arkansas, where officials reported two fatalities and many people trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings. The tornadoes also struck the Little Rock area, where one person was killed and more than 25 were injured, some critically. A small shopping centre was ripped apart by the twister, which then crossed the Arkansas River into North Little Rock and nearby cities.

In Belvidere, Illinois, a theatre roof caved in on a heavy metal concert during a tornado, killing one person and injuring 28 others.

The storm system also spawned tornadoes in Iowa, hailstorms in Illinois, and grass fires in Oklahoma. It threatened a large part of the country with a population of about 85 million people.

The severe weather came as President Joe Biden visited Mississippi to survey the damage caused by a deadly tornado that hit the state a week ago. He pledged federal assistance to help the area recover. The Little Rock tornado tore through residential areas in the western part of the city before destroying a small shopping centre. It then crossed the Arkansas River into North Little Rock and surrounding cities, where it caused extensive damage to homes, businesses and vehicles.

Officials at Baptist Health Medical Centre-Little Rock told KATV that 21 people had checked in there with injuries caused by the tornado, including five in critical condition.

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