At least 24 people have died as tornadoes and severe storms tore apart homes and businesses in the southern, east-central and eastern United States, officials said.
Nine deaths were reported in Tennessee due to severe weather, all in McNairy County, east of Memphis, county Mayor Larry Smith told local broadcaster WREG on Saturday.
They are in addition to fifteen victims in the states of Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama in the south, Indiana and Illinois in the mid-east of the country, and Delaware on the east coast.
In Delaware, a “structure collapse” in Sussex County killed one person Saturday night, according to the local rescue center, as weather services warned neighboring states like Pennsylvania and the U.S. state of New York against high winds and possible tornadoes.
Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas, was hit hard. Residents woke up Friday to overturned cars, large uprooted trees, broken telephone poles and burned homes. At least five people have died in the state, according to Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
“We know a lot of people need to be relocated and are looking for shelter,” said Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr.
The city of Vine, in the northeastern part of the state, was “basically cut in half from east to west,” Mayor Jennifer Hobbs told CNN.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who said Saturday she had discussed the situation with President Joe Biden, declared a state of emergency earlier in the day and deployed about 100 National Guardsmen.
Mississippi authorities reported one death and several injuries in Pontotoc County, about 200 km south of Memphis.
An elderly man in Alabama was killed when a tornado tore through his home, officials in the town of Huntsville, near the Tennessee border, said.
In the north of the country, in Belvidere, a small town west of Chicago in Illinois, part of the roof and facade of the Apollo Theater collapsed in the middle of a concert by a heavy metal band. Thunderstorm.
Belvidere Fire Chief Shawn Schadle reported one death and 28 injuries, including five hospitalized with serious injuries.
Television footage showed injured spectators being carried out on stretchers, and photos on social media showed a waist-high pile of debris and a hole in the roof of the venue.
In Crawford County, three people were killed when a house collapsed, Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokesman Kevin Suhr said.
In neighboring Indiana, three people were killed by the storm in Sullivan County, officials said, citing several US media outlets.
About 650,000 homes were without power Saturday in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia, according to US site PowerOutage.
Tornadoes, weather phenomena that 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 massive property damage. President Joe Biden visited the site on Friday.
In December 2021, a tornado that hit Kentucky killed about 80 people.