US States ruined by Nature’s wrath


JNN 29 April 2011 : Death toll from severe storms and tornadoes in central and southern US have reached at least 258 people, after state officials reported 162 deaths in the hardest-hit state of Alabama and 30 deaths in Tennessee.

“We are up to 162 fatalities,” said Yasamie August, public information manager for Alabama’s emergency management agency, increasing the state toll of 131 issued earlier by Alabama’s governor.

In Alabama, as many as one million people were without power on Thursday morning, as emergency workers and 2,000 soldiers search the rubble for survivors.

Also on Thursday, the State Emergency Operations Center in Nashville, capital city of Tennessee, announced that 30 deaths have been confirmed across the six counties when thunderstorms and twisters tore through the state on Wednesday.

“We had three waves of storms cross the state yesterday starting in early morning, including localized heavy flooding, high winds, thunderstorms and tornados,” Tennessee Emergency Management Agency Spokesman Dean Flener said.

Eastern Tennessee was the worst hit, with nine deaths each in Bradley County and Hamilton County, six dead in Greene County, and four in Bledsoe.

Flener added that emergency responders were searching the worst-hit areas looking for survivors, AFP reported.

The US National Weather Service has reported nearly 300 tornadoes since the storm began on Friday, more than 150 on Wednesday alone.

A state of emergency has been declared in seven states, and federal aid money is being sent to Alabama, which remains the worst hit state.

The storms — described as the deadliest system of tornadoes to strike the United States since 1974 — also killed at least 32 people in Mississippi, 13 in Georgia, 11 in Arkansas, eight in Virginia, and another two killed in severe flooding in Missouri, state officials said.

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