First modification: 13/01/2023 – 16:45Last modification: 13/01/2023 – 16:51
Winds and storms spread across the southern United States, after a series of fateful tornadoes impacted that area of the country. The states of Georgia and Alabama are among the most affected and where at least seven people have died, including a child, as a result of the storm.
Overturned cars in the streets, damaged power lines, fallen tree branches and damaged homes is the panorama with which thousands of people woke up this Friday, January 13, in towns in Georgia and Alabama, in the southern United States.
The situation is recorded after dozens of tornadoes hit that area of the country a day before, leaving at least seven people dead. Six of them in Alabama, according to official data.
“I am saddened to learn that six Alabamans died in the storms that ravaged our state. My prayers are with their loved ones and their communities. We are all too familiar with devastating weather, but our people are strong. We will get through and be stronger.” , said Governor Kay Ivey, through her Twitter account.
Ivey declared a state of emergency Thursday in the six hardest-hit counties: Autauga, Chambers, Coosa, Dallas, Elmore and Tallapoosa.
Most of the fatalities were in Autauga County, about 45 miles northeast of the small town of Selma, where a tornado ripped for about 20 miles through rural communities, destroying homes along its path, he said. the constituency’s director of emergency management, Ernie Baggett.
“We have many downed power lines (…) There is a lot of danger on the streets,” said Selma Mayor James Perkins.
There, at least 12 people were seriously injured and taken to hospitals, while emergency teams moved downed trees in search of people who might need help.
About 40 residences were destroyed or seriously damaged, including mobile homes that toppled over, as strong winds ripped off the roofs of homes and left thousands of people without power.
“They weren’t just impressed. They flew away,” Baggett described those affected.
Amid the fury of the winds, many residents tried to take refuge in safe places. “All we heard was wind and the whole house was shaking,” a woman who took refuge in the bathroom of her home, which was destroyed, told local television.
Meanwhile, in Georgia, the authorities indicated that the only confirmed death so far is that of a five-year-old boy who was struck by a tree that fell on the vehicle in which he was.
More than 40 tornado warnings
Georgia and Alabama were not the only states hit by the strong storm.
Nationwide, the Weather Service issued more than 40 tornado watches, which included the states of Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
However, experts later indicated that some of the typhoon reports could be classified as wind damage, which they hope to clarify through assessments in the coming days.
In Griffin County, south of Atlanta, several people were trapped inside an apartment complex after trees fell on the building.
In another part of the city, a team of firefighters rescued a man who had been trapped for hours under a tree that fell on his house.
In view of the emergency, the local authorities decreed a curfew on Thursday night that lasted until the morning of January 13.
Among the multiple damages caused by the storms, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Charlotte Douglas International Airport canceled or delayed more than 250 flights.
For now, authorities are concentrating on searching for additional possible victims.
With Reuters, AP and local media