US: Tornado kills 25 in Mississippi, Biden vows federal support
United States (US) President Joe Biden pledged on Saturday to provide emergency support for the victims of a devastating tornado that ravaged numerous towns in Mississippi, killing at least 25 individuals, injuring dozens, and flattening entire blocks as it carved a path of destruction for over an hour. Furthermore, the top emergency management body also said the number of deceased could rise further.
Tornado ravages through Mississippi
The storm ravaged a swath of the Mississippi Delta town of Rolling Fork, turning homes into piles of rubble, destroying its water tower, and pushing cars on their sides. Residents hunkered down in hallways and bathtubs in their homes during the tornado and later reached a John Deere store that they turned into a triage center for the injured, reported Associated Press (AP).
Details on National Weather Service's tornado alert
Meanwhile, the US National Weather Service also issued an alert about the tornado and said, "To protect your life, TAKE COVER NOW! You are in a life-threatening situation." "Flying debris may be deadly to those caught without shelter. Mobile homes will be destroyed. Considerable damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles is likely and complete destruction is possible," it added.
Visuals of the Mississippi tornado
Many need your prayer: Mississippi governor
In a Twitter post on Friday night, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said search and rescue operations were underway and that officials were sending more emergency assets and ambulances to those affected. "Many in the MS Delta need your prayer and God's protection tonight. Watch weather reports and stay cautious through the night, Mississippi!" Reeves tweeted. Meanwhile, one person also died in Alabama's Morgan County.
Images from across Mississippi heartbreaking, says Biden
In an official statement, US President Biden reacted to the Mississippi developments by calling them "heartbreaking." He also promised to assist everyone who needed help during this difficult time. "The images from across Mississippi are heartbreaking," Biden said. "We will do everything we can to help. We will be there as long as it takes," added the US president.
Biden speaks to Mississippi Governor after tornado
Furthermore, Biden also spoke to the Mississippi governor about the deadly tornado. "He assured us FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) would be there to support our response. The flood of support from governors, businesses, charities, and federal admin has been tremendous - matches the community here on the ground," tweeted Reeves.
Twitter post by Reeves
More than 49,000 people lost power on Friday amid tornado
As per PowerOutage.us, over 49,000 homes had lost power in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas during Friday night's tornado. Separately, in Texas, a suspected tornado struck Wise County's southwest corner, downing trees and power lines and damaging homes, revealed Cody Powell, the county's emergency management coordinator. Furthermore, Powell also confirmed that no injuries had been reported so far.