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US tornadoes leave millions without power

An elderly man died when a tornado picked up a vehicle and smashed it into his house in Ohio, officials say.

The 81-year-old of Celina, Ohio, was killed by one of 52 suspected twisters that pulverised eight US states on Monday.

The damage was so severe in Ohio that authorities reportedly used snow plough trucks to clear away debris.

Ohio saw nine suspected tornadoes while 14 hit neighbouring Indiana, according to forecasters.

Also on Monday, there were 10 apparent twisters in Colorado, four in Illinois, five in Nebraska, six in Iowa and three in Minnesota.

There was even one as far out west in the country as Idaho, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center.

The man killed in Celina, a town 65 miles (105km) north of Dayton, was named as Melvin Dale Hanna.

Seven people were injured in Celina, and three were in a serious condition, Mercer County Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Robbins told the BBC.

More than 40 people in the Dayton, Ohio, area were being treated in hospitals for storm-related injuries, according to the Dayton Daily News.

“Our community has been tested before and we have always risen above it,” Dayton, Ohio, Mayor Nan Whaley told a Tuesday morning press conference.

“I have no doubt we will do so again today and in the coming week.”

The National Weather Service (NWS) said a “large and dangerous tornado” was on the ground on Monday night near the city of Trotwood, which is part of Greater Dayton.

More than 60,000 homes and businesses in Ohio were still without power on Monday morning, according to the Power Outage.

In the immediate aftermath of the twisters, the NWS said some five million people had experienced electricity cuts in Ohio.

Authorities in Dayton said local water plants and pump stations were among those that had lost power, and they urged people to conserve water.

Beavercreek, a Dayton suburb, issued an emergency declaration.

“Areas are being closed,” the police department wrote on Facebook, “many gas leaks also reported.

“Please stay out for your safety and others. We are still in the search and rescue mode.”

Montgomery County, which includes Dayton, said Red Cross shelters had been set up across the region, offering water and food. –BBC

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