At least 24 people have died in the south, east-central and eastern United States as tornadoes and severe storms ripped homes and businesses to pieces, authorities said.
Tennessee has had nine deaths due to severe weather, all of which occurred in McNairy County, east of Memphis, county mayor Larry Smith told local broadcaster WREG on Saturday.
They are added to the fifteen victims recorded in the states of Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama, in the south, as well as in those of Indiana and Illinois, in the center-east of the country and of Delaware on the East Coast.
In Delaware, a "structure collapse" in Sussex County killed one person on Saturday evening, according to the local rescue center, while the weather services also warned neighboring states such as Pennsylvania and the United States. New York State against high winds and potential tornadoes.
Little Rock, capital of Arkansas, was hit hard. Residents woke up Friday to overturned cars, huge uprooted trees, broken telephone poles and gutted houses. At least five people have died in this state, according to its governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
"We know a lot of people have had to be relocated and are looking for shelter," Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr.
The town of Wynne, in the northeastern part of the state, was "basically cut in half by the damage from east to west," Mayor Jennifer Hobbs told CNN.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who said on Saturday that she had discussed the situation with President Joe Biden, had declared a state of emergency the day before and deployed around 100 National Guardsmen.
Mississippi authorities have reported one death and several injuries in Pontotoc County, about 200 km south of Memphis.
An elderly person was also killed in Alabama when a tornado hit his house, detailed the authorities of the city of Huntsville, near the border with Tennessee.
In the north of the country, in the small town of Belvidere, west of Chicago in the State of Illinois, part of the roof and the facade of the Apollo Theater collapsed in the middle of a concert. a heavy metal band due to a severe thunderstorm.
Belvidere Fire Chief Shawn Schadle reported one death and 28 injuries, including five hospitalized with serious injuries.
Television footage showed injured spectators being evacuated on stretchers, and photos on social media showed the venue had a waist-high pile of debris and a gaping hole in the roof.
In Crawford County, three people were killed when a home collapsed, Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokesman Kevin Sur said.
In the neighboring state of Indiana, three people were killed by a storm in Sullivan County, according to authorities, quoted by several American media.
More than 650,000 homes were without power Saturday in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia, according to the American site PowerOutage.
Tornadoes, meteorological phenomena as impressive as they are difficult to predict, are common in the United States, especially in the center and south of the country.
A week ago, a tornado swept through Mississippi, killing 25 people and causing extensive property damage. President Joe Biden visited the site on Friday.
In December 2021, approximately 80 people lost their lives after tornadoes hit Kentucky.
02/04/2023 13:00:28 - Washington (AFP) - © 2023 AFP