Washington / Jackson: Numerous Easter tornadoes in the south of the U.S. have claimed at least 32 lives, according to media reports. Violent thunderstorms, heavy rain, and storms had raged in several US states from Sunday to Monday during the night and caused some bad damage, as local authorities and media reported late Monday evening (local time).

In Mississippi alone, at least eleven people were killed. Another at least nine died in South Carolina, eight in Georgia and two in Tennessee. There were victims in North Carolina and Arkansas. The storm hit the United States in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Several of the affected US states declared an emergency. The authorities in Mississippi appealed to the population because of the danger of corona to wear breathing masks in all shelters and to keep the distance rules there.

US President Donald Trump expressed his condolences to the people of the affected states. The tornadoes had “terrible, destructive power,” Trump said in the White House on Monday evening (local time), promising that the government would do everything possible to get the most affected states back on their feet.

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The tornadoes knocked down hundreds of trees and power lines. According to media reports, more than a million people were without electricity. In Mississippi alone, provisional emergency response numbers cut electricity for more than 72,000 people. Numerous houses were destroyed or badly damaged. In Georgia, an entire house and foundation were even excavated and placed on a street, as shown in photos in local media.

Given the number of deaths, agency director Greg Michel spoke on Monday of a “devastating storm.” “We haven’t seen storm damage like this in a while,” said Michel. The search for possible further victims was not yet completed on Tuesday. In South Carolina, among others, the Hampton County district was badly affected. “It’s a rural area and it’s hard to see,” said spokesman Wayne Evans.

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In the north of Georgia, two caravan parks were hit by the storms, according to media reports, there were several deaths. The national weather agency NOAA had warned of possible wind speeds of up to 330 kilometers per hour. The experts emphasized that it was an “exceptionally rare event”.

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