At least 6 dead after destructive tornadoes tear through S US

TEHRAN, Jan. 13 (MNA) – A large storm system swept through the US South on Thursday, leaving at least six people dead and destroying about 40 to 50 homes in Autauga County, which sits northwest of Montgomery, Alabama.

According to the county Emergency Management Agency Director Ernie Baggett, at least 12 people had to be taken to hospitals by emergency responders due to severe injuries after the storm struck the communities of Old Kingston and Marbury as it destroyed a path of about 20 miles, reportedly.

The tornado ripped everything in its path and damaged businesses as well as homes, as it passed through downtown Selma, Alabama (a city which is rich with the history of the civil rights movement).

The mayor declared a local emergency for the city and put a curfew in place so first responders could more easily help the injured. According to Perkins, at 6 p.m. local time, there was one person believed to be trapped in a building on Broad Street while another remained missing.

“Most city streets are closed due to down power lines and trees. All schools have reported that students are at school and safe. It is not safe at this point to go to the schools or allow the children to leave school,” the city of Selma posted on social media, Sputnik reported.

“I thought it was all over for me,” said eyewitness Bobby Green, who was in his car when the tornado hit Selma. The debris on his vehicle was so heavy he was forced to escape through his passenger window.

There were a total of 42 reports of tornadoes on Thursday, with a majority of those being in Alabama and some in Georgia and Kentucky, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center. However, authorities will have to survey whether or not those reports were legitimate tornadoes.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp both declared a state of emergency for certain counties in their state.

About 4 million people were also placed under tornado watches across the Florida Panhandle and North Carolina. An additional 17 million people in the South were also placed under wind advisories.

At about 10:00 p.m. local time on Thursday, Georgia had 58,646 customers without power and Alabama had 30,664 customers without power, according to PowerOutage.us.

MNA/PR

News Code 196080

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