WASHINGTON - A tornado has ripped through the midwestern U.S. state of Missouri, killing at least 89 people and cutting a path of destruction.
The powerful twister struck the town of Joplin, about 220 kilometers south of Kansas City, destroying homes, crushing cars and badly damaging a hospital, which had to be evacuated. Officials say they expect the death toll to rise.
The strong winds blew debris up to 100 kilometers away.
Another tornado in the state of Minnesota killed one person and injured nearly 30 others. The strong line of storms swept across states stretching from Wisconsin to Oklahoma.
President Barack Obama called Missouri’s governor to express his condolences and pledged federal government support for recovery efforts. The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency is traveling to Missouri to join FEMA officials already in the state.
The White House says the president received multiple updates about the damage on his way to Ireland, where he arrived Monday. He instructed his staff to keep him updated, and to stay closely coordinated with state and local officials.
Last month, tornadoes and violent thunderstorms killed more than 300 people across the southern United States, with the state of Alabama bearing the brunt of the fatalities, with more than 200 dead.
Source: VOA News