Deadly tornadoes hit southern US

At least 45 people die in rare outbreak of severe weather.

    The twisters caused widespread damage [GALLO/GETTY]

    "It took the whole house," one woman in Tennessee told CNN news channel.
     

    "I just got up and I thought it was a fire. We got up and there was no house left."

     
    Tornado watches were in effect on Wednesday morning for parts of
    Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and the western Florida panhandle, the
    National Weather Service said.
     

    Assessing damage

     
    In Tennessee, twisters knocked down a police radio tower, crushed the wall of a shopping centre and damaged a hangar at the airport in the largest city, Memphis.

    "We're still trying to assess all the damage now that the sun is
    coming up," Laura McPherson of the Tennessee Emergency Management Area told AFP news agency.
     
    Several people sheltering under a bridge north of the shopping centre were washed into state's Wolf river, but were rescued, Steve Cole of the Memphis police department said.
     
    The same storm then moved to Jackson, Mississippi, and damaged a dormitory at Union University, where eight students were temporarily trapped but escaped serious injury, school officials said.
     
    At least six tornadoes occurred between Oxford, Mississippi, and Jackson, Tennessee, alone, Richard Okulski, from the National Weather Service in Memphis, said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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