A devastating tornado left at least 100 miles (160 kilometers) of destruction in its wake across the US state of Mississippi. According to civil protection, at least 26 people lost their lives, and some missing people are still being sought. Images from cities like Rolling Fork and Amory show just how violent the storm raged. Whole sheds were torn from the spot, trees and cars flew through the air like toys. Countless streets resemble scenes from catastrophe and end-time films.
Those who still have a roof over their heads help to take care of the people. In the meantime, the first clean-up work began with heavy equipment. Many people collect their belongings, sometimes putting themselves in danger because they climb mountains of rubbish with cars and branches stuck in them, which could collapse at any time.
Joe Biden announces tornado aid
US President Joe Biden offered his condolences to those affected and wrote on Twitter: “We will do everything we can to help. We will work together to give you the support you need to recover , for as long as it takes.”
The infrastructure of the cities and towns was also hit hard. Because in the USA it is common to lay power and telephone lines above ground. A storm like the one in Mississippi cuts entire regions off the grid with ease. Thousands of households are currently without electricity.
The first tornado hit the ground in Rolling Fork around 8 p.m. local time on Friday, Lance Perrilloux of the National Weather Service told NPR. The tornado ate more than 270 kilometers into the country in just one hour. “This is one of the rarer tornadoes that we’ve seen in Mississippi history based on longevity and strength over a period of time,” Perrilloux said.
More storms expected
And while the residents are still busy cleaning up, the next storm is already on the horizon. For Sunday, the weather service warns of severe thunderstorms and hailstones the size of chicken eggs. The experts also do not rule out further tornadoes.
The German Press Agency writes that Mississippi is one of the poorest states in the USA. The reconstruction, it is estimated, could take years. Many of the people whose villages were hit by the storms are now also homeless. Because many of you lived in trailer parks where a tornado can easily wreak havoc.