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Tornadoes in the United States | At least 50 dead in Kentucky, nearly 100 trapped in Illinois



(Nashville) At least 50 dead in Kentucky where a city was at least partly razed, a hundred people still believed to be trapped Saturday in a ravaged warehouse in Illinois: tornadoes hit part of the United States hard on Friday.

For now, it is in Kentucky, in the center-east of the country, that the heaviest toll is to be deplored after the passage of tornadoes, a meteorological phenomenon that particularly affects the United States every year.

“I’m afraid there are more than 50 dead in Kentucky […], we are probably closer to 70 to 100 dead, it’s awful, ”said governor of this state Andy Beshear on Saturday at a press conference.

Mayfield in particular, a town of 10,000 people, appears to have been at the epicenter of the disaster. “The city has suffered the hardest blows. The devastation there is massive, “said Michael Dossett, a local relief official, interviewed on CNN.

He mentioned a “ground zero”, an expression used to describe the ruins of the World Trade Center after the attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York.

The collapse of the roof of a candle-making factory in Mayfield has notably “claimed countless lives” in the town of Mayfield, Governor Beshear said.

“Before midnight, I declared a state of emergency,” he said, adding that search and rescue teams had been deployed in this chaos made worse by the power cuts.

Photos and videos of Mayfield, shared on social media, show gutted buildings, twisted metal, trees and bricks strewn across the streets.


Mayfield homes damaged by tornado.

Several counties in Kentucky were also devastated by the strongest tornado that traveled more than 300 kilometers in the state, the governor added.

American channels filmed the passage of the tornadoes: black cylinders sweeping the ground, illuminated by intermittent lightning.

Further northwest, in Illinois, about 100 people, according to media reports, were trapped in a storm-ravaged Amazon warehouse. These are employees of the distribution giant who worked nights to process orders before the holiday season.


An Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois sustained significant damage.


The Collinsville emergency management agency referred to “many people trapped in the Amazon warehouse” after this “event with many victims”.

The emergency services worked until the early hours of Saturday to try to free these people from the installation, a third of which is nothing more than rubble.

Images from the Edwardsville Amazon warehouse, shared by U.S. news channels and social media, show much of the facility’s roof torn off, one of the walls collapsed into the building and rubble strewn across the site .


Amazon warehouse located in Edwardsville

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said he addressed his “prayers to the people of Edwardsville” noting that the Illinois Police and Emergency Management Agency “are coordinating their actions closely with local officials.”

No assessment of possible victims has yet been communicated.

In a statement to local media, Amazon spokesman Richard Rocha said the “safety and well-being” of Amazon employees and partners was the group’s “top priority”.

“We are assessing the situation and will share additional information as it becomes available,” he added.

In Arkansas, one person was killed and 20 were trapped in a nursing home, media reported. But rescuers managed to evacuate the trapped from the building whose structure was “virtually destroyed,” Craighead County official Marvin Day told local news channels. Another person died elsewhere in that state.

In Tennessee, at least two people have been killed in weather-related events, according to an emergency management official quoted by local media.

Tornadoes also hit Missouri.

Climate change is increasing the magnitude and frequency of the storms that are already plaguing the United States, scientists say.

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