The threat of tornadoes
Natural disasters can often be the biggest threat to a country's infrastructure as recent earthquakes around the world have shown. However over the weekend, several southern states in the US where struck by violent storms and tornadoes that have devastated the region and killed up to 12 people.
The tornadoes struck in Alabama and Mississippi after two tornadoes landed, generating winds of over 150 mph. The scene of devastation is reportedly at 50 miles long, leaving entire towns and areas without power.
While rescue teams are, according to the BBC, searching more rural areas for survivors, other tornadoes are believed to have struck in Louisiana and Arkansas.
The National Weather Service has placed eight states on 'tornado watch'.
One of the areas most badly hit was Yazoo County, with five victims, including three children, killed in Choctaw County, and one in Holmes County. The region, which has a population of over 28,000, was reportedly hit by a tornado nearly a mile wide.
Governor Haley Barbour declared a state of emergency after the first major US tornado of the year.
"We have fatalities, a number of people that we're still trying to rescue who are trapped in buildings. But it is a major, significant tornado... and it did some huge damage and perhaps some fatalities north of here."
The emergency agency said: "The Hinds County Sheriff's Department is sending two dozen deputies and 100 inmates to assist with the response in Yazoo County and clear debris."
The BBC has also reported that National Guard troops have also been deployed, with the soldiers searching for survivors in Humvees and a Black Hawk helicopter.
With Tornado Season just getting underway (usually last from April to June), you can expect this disaster to be the first of several to strike America. Last week, the Washington Post reported than more than 30 tornadoes had gathered on the Plains and 100 severe weather reports had been announced.
Like this article? Get the RSS feed: