At least eight people were killed in the United States by violent storms and tornadoes that hit the states of Arkansas, Indiana and Illinois yesterday, and that today they are moving towards the northeast of the country, according to the authorities.
In Arkansas, A devastating tornado left at least four people dead and some 30 injured, the risk management service for this rural state in the southern United States told the AFP news agency.
The inhabitants of Little Rock, its capital, woke up today to a bleak picture of overturned vehicles, huge trees uprooted from the ground, broken telephone lines and destroyed houses. Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said “about 30 individuals were transported to our local hospitals.”
The northeastern city of Wynne is “cut in two by damage from east to west,” its mayor, Jennifer Hobbs, told CNN TV.
Meanwhile, the governor of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, yesterday declared a general state of emergency and mobilized the National Guard.
More than 154,000 homes were still without power this Saturday in Arkansas, according to the Poweroutage.us website, while the National Weather Service (NWS) issued a tornado watch in the states of Tennessee, Illinois and Iowa.
In Illinois (central-eastern United States) severe storms also left scars and damage. On Friday night, the disaster reached the city of Belvidere, when a powerful storm caused the roof and part of the facade of the Apollo Theater to collapse, in the middle of a concert by a band heavy metal.
“It was reported that more than 20 ambulances were requested at the scene,” Fox 32 reported, and Belvidere Fire Chief Shawn Schadle said one person died and 28 were injured, including five with serious injuries.
At the same time, in the neighboring state of Indiana Three people were confirmed dead after a storm swept through Sullivan County, authorities said, quoted by local media.
Images posted on Twitter by television station WTHI showed downed telephone poles, collapsed houses and rubble littering roads.
Tornadoes are common in the United States, especially in the center and south of the country. A week ago a tornado ripped through Mississippi, killing 25 people and causing extensive property damage, and in December 2021 around 80 people were killed by tornadoes in Kentucky.