Joe Biden declares an emergency in Mississippi after a devastating tornado


The remains of a house and cars are entangled in tree limbs in Rolling Fork, Mississippi after a tornado tore across the state on Friday. (Photo: chandan Khanna/AFP)

US President Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency in Mississippi after a violent tornado ripped through the southern state, killing at least 26 people.

In addition to Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe, and Sharkey, Biden made federal aid accessible to the hardest-hit counties.

At least 25 people were murdered, and dozens more were injured in the state on Friday night as a powerful storm tore through multiple towns along its hour-long route. A man was killed in Alabama after his trailer house overturned many times.

The town of Rolling Fork in Sharkey has been nearly entirely obliterated by a tornado that levelled buildings, reducing them to heaps of rubble, split tree trunks in half, overturned automobiles, and brought down the water tower.

"I don't know how anyone lived," Rodney Porter, who lives 20 miles (32 kilometres) south of Rolling Fork, told the Associated Press. As the storm struck on Friday night, he drove there quickly to aid in any manner possible. Porter arrived to discover "complete devastation" and reported smelling natural gas and hearing cries for help in the dark.

"Houses are gone, stacked on top of one other with automobiles on top," he claimed.

Annette Body had travelled from nearby Belozi to the isolated village of Silver City. She felt "fortunate" since her home had not been damaged, although others had lost everything.

She said, "I sobbed last night and this morning." "They advised taking cover, but the event occurred so quickly that many individuals could not."

Hundreds of people continue to be displaced in the state; on Sunday, search and recovery personnel continued sifting through the rubble of destroyed houses and businesses. Around the state, homeless shelters have emerged to accommodate people without a home.

The National Weather Service has warned of further severe weather on Sunday, including high winds, giant hail, and probable tornadoes in eastern Louisiana, south-central Mississippi, and south-central Alabama. Residents are assessing the damage while preparing for more bad weather.

Governor Tate Reeves of Mississippi declared a state of emergency and pledged to assist with rebuilding. Mr Biden also held a conference call with the state's congressional delegation.

"Now, the extent of the destruction and loss is clear everywhere impacted—houses, businesses…entire communities. Together respond, recover, and rebuild. This is the objective," Mr Reeves wrote on Twitter.

The Jackson National Weather Service meteorologist Lance Perrilloux told the Associated Press that first storm reports and radar data indicated the tornado travelled 170 miles (274 kilometres).

Extremely uncommon, he said, attributing the long journey to widespread atmospheric instability.

Perrilloux's preliminary findings stated that the tornado originated southwest of Rolling Fork, then moved northeast into Midnight and Silver City, and then continued toward Tchula, Black Hawk, and Winona.

Publish : 2023-03-26 16:39:00

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