Federal pledge for US tornado site

US president declares state of disaster after at least nine die in Kansas storm.

    Greensburg was virtually wiped out by
    Friday's tornado [AP]

    "It is no understatement or overstatement to say that this town has been wiped off the face of the earth"

    Pat Roberts, senator

    "This is a huge catastrophe for this small town. My home's gone, my staff's homes are gone," he said.


    A statement from Tony Snow, White House press secretary, said the federal funding was intended to aid recovery from the effects of the tornado.


    "Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster," the statement said.


    About 30 people were pulled from the rubble of Kiowa County Memorial Hospital in Greensburg on Saturday.


    Tornado facts and figures

    - A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground.

    - Tornadoes can reach wind speeds of 400kph.

    - An average of 1,000 tornadoes a year are recorded in the US.

    - An average of 80 deaths and 1,500 injuries a year are caused by tornadoes in the US. 

    - The deadliest tornado in the US killed 695 people in in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana in 1925.

    Source: US National Oceanic
    & Atmospheric Administration

    "It is no understatement or overstatement to say that this town has been wiped off the face of the earth," said Pat Roberts, a senator who toured the area.


    Greensburg's 1,400 evacuated residents have not been told not to re-enter the town as emergency squads search the wreckage for survivors.


    "The search and rescue continues. We want to make sure we can find everybody," Hewitt said.


    The US National Weather Service has forecast more severe weather in the central plains region. 


    Two new tornadoes were reported in Nebraska to the north on Saturday.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.