Tornado in Mississippi kills 10 people
by Bianca Brais
A tornado almost a mile wide hit the southeastern US state of Mississippi, killing at least 10 people, including children and caused significant injuries as well as damaging cities on Saturday, April 24.
Two of the dead were children and one was a three-month-old baby. “Five people died in Choctaw County while four of the other deaths were in Yazoo County and one was in Holmes County,” BBC News reported. “Four injured people were flown by helicopter from Yazoo County to a hospital in the state capital, Jackson, for treatment.”
The death toll is expected to increase as rescue crews search hard-hit areas while some residents were trapped in damaged homes. The governor is activating local members of the National Guard to deploy a rescue operation, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) spokesman, Greg Flynn explained to CNN News.
“The hospital has 27 patients with injuries sustained in the tornado, including eight adults in critical condition and six children in serious condition, according to spokesman Jim Albritton,” CNN News said.
Injured patients were seeking attention at King’s Daughters hospital. On the night of the tornado, only one doctor was on duty, Jess Silvino explained to CNN News. As the search operation continues, the hospital is expecting at least one other group of victims affected by the tornado.
President Obama has been informed about the tragedy and the situation is being followed by the White House, Presidential spokesperson Bill Burton told CNN News. “[The President] has not yet requested emergency federal aid but he plans to do so on Monday (April 26).”
The tornado started in the western part of the state of Mississippi and moved northeast as it shifted towards Alabama. Meteorologists have estimated the tornado to be 1.6 km wide and that the speed of the wind was approximately 150 miles per hour (240 kph), BBC News said.
In all, 12 counties have been demolished. Highways are closed, trees are blocking roads and power lines have been blown down because of the tornado. “We’ve urged people to stay away from those areas, not only because it slows down emergency response, but there are also still live electrical wires, there are open gas lines that will have to be shut down,” CNN News reported