Deadly tor­na­does hit US states of Ge­or­gia, Mis­sis­sippi

Pakistan Today (Karachi) - - FOREIGN NEWS -

A se­vere storm sys­tem, which spun off tor­na­does and left scat­tered de­struc­tion, has killed at least 18 peo­ple on a two­day sweep across the south­ern re­gion of the United States.

At least 14 peo­ple were killed on Sun­day in Ge­or­gia, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials, as the fast-mov­ing storms tore across the state through­out the day, with at least one deadly tor­nado re­ported be­fore dawn and vi­o­lent storms still rum­bling af­ter night­fall. Four other peo­ple were killed on Satur­day in the state of Mis­sis­sippi, re­ports said.

The enor­mous sys­tem put mil­lions of peo­ple in the south­ern US on edge dur­ing a week­end of vi­o­lent weather that left crum­pled trailer homes, downed trees and other dam­age in the hard­est-hit com­mu­ni­ties from Mis­sis­sippi to Ge­or­gia. On Sun­day, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump pledged fed­eral as­sis­tance to the rav­aged ar­eas.

"The tor­na­does were vi­cious and pow­er­ful and strong and they suf­fered greatly," he said dur­ing an event in the White House. "So, we'll be help­ing out." The se­vere weather threat was still con­tin­u­ing on Sun­day night in some parts, ex­tend­ing into North and South Carolina, as well as north Florida, ac­cord­ing to re­ports. The day's dead­li­est toll came be­fore day­break on Sun­day when an ap­par­ent tor­nado blew through a mo­bile home park in south Ge­or­gia, shear­ing away sid­ing, upend­ing homes and killing seven peo­ple.

"There are houses just de­mol­ished," Norma Ford, a res­i­dent of Al­bany, Ge­or­gia's largest city with some 76,000 peo­ple, told agen­cies.

Ge­or­gia's Gover­nor, Nathan Deal, de­clared a state of emer­gency in seven south­ern Ge­or­gia coun­ties, free­ing up state re­sources to as­sist with re­cov­ery ef­forts. Jan­uary tor­nado out­breaks are rare, but not un­prece­dented, in the US, par­tic­u­larly in south­ern states. Data from the Storm Pre­dic­tion Cen­tre shows that, over the past decade, the na­tion has seen an aver­age 38 tor­na­does in Jan­uary, rang­ing from a high of 84 in 2008 to just four in 2014.

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