At least 23 people died as violent storms and at least one tornado ripped through the US state of Mississippi, tearing off roofs and flattening neighborhoods, officials and residents said Saturday.
The southern state’s emergency management agency said at least four people were missing and dozens were injured, while tens of thousands of people in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee were without power.
“At least 23 Mississippians were killed by last night’s violent tornados. We know that many more are injured. Search and rescue teams are still active,” Governor Tate Reeves said on Twitter.
“The loss will be felt in these towns forever. Please pray for God’s hand to be over all who lost family and friends.”
Confirming the death toll at 23, the emergency management agency cautioned: “Unfortunately, these numbers are expected to change.”
Search and rescue operations were underway in Sharkey and Humphreys counties, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) north of the state capital Jackson, the agency said on Twitter.