Severe storms battered the central United States on Friday, as tornadoes killed three people in southern Arkansas, authorities said, while a roof collapsed in the northern part on crowds during a concert, according to media reports.
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In Arkansas, two people died in the small town of Wayne, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders told a news conference, declaring a state of emergency and deploying one hundred National Guardsmen.
Separately, Pulaski County, which includes the hard-hit Arkansas capital, Little Rock, confirmed a third death to AFP.
“About 30 people have been taken to hospitals,” Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott told reporters.
In the aftermath of the hurricane, cars were overturned, huge trees were uprooted, telephone poles were smashed in two … Lara Farrar, a journalist for a local business newspaper, told AFP by phone that she was “absolutely shocked” by visiting the devastation near her home in Little Rock.
“Some buildings had their roofs completely blown off,” she testified, sharing images of destroyed homes, partially demolished walls and trees on the ground.
“The neighborhood has been frankly devastated and completely destroyed,” she adds, referring to a facade of destruction less than 500 meters wide, with “very little damage” on the outside.
In the north of the country, in the small town of Belvedere, west of Chicago in the state of Illinois, after a storm passed, part of the roof of a concert hall collapsed, where the audience watched a performance of a metal band. , according to local media.
Local press reported that several ambulances were on the scene.
Around 2:40 a.m. BST on Saturday, about 110,000 people in Illinois, 74,000 in Arkansas and 27,000 in Iowa were without power, according to specialist PowerOutage.us.
Tornadoes, a meteorological phenomenon 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.
As of December 2021, about 80 people have lost their lives after tornadoes hit Kentucky.