Deadly Mississippi tornado devastates US states
At least 26 people have died in Mississippi and Alabama after a tornado tore through the southern US states.
Search and rescue efforts are continuing, and the Mississippi state government has declared a state of emergency.
In Rolling Fork, crushed cars, bricks and glass litter the streets – the town has been almost entirely wiped out.
One resident told the BBC he was lucky to survive after seeking shelter in his bath tub. Approaching the neighbourhood in western Sharkey County, there is little indication of anything unusual.
The lush farmland that surrounds it is completely untouched, the trees aren’t even bent out of shape by wind.Then, suddenly, you see the houses that were in the tornado’s path.They have been totally obliterated.
In this rural town of only 2,000 people, where one fifth of residents live below the poverty line, dozens of buildings have been flattened by the fury of the tornado.
Homes where family and friends had gathered less than 24 hours before, ready for the weekend, have been reduced to rubble.
Timber frames have been snapped into pieces. There are upturned washing machines, but it is impossible to identify anything that might have been a kitchen.
Amongst the rubble, there are vehicles that have been tossed around. There is the occasional children’s toy and other signs of the lives that were lived here just hours earlier.
The tornado hit in the middle of the night – people had been sleeping and had not heard the alerts. For many the first indication that something terrible was happening was the noise.
Francisco McKnight told the BBC it was a miracle that he is alive. The only warning he had was the sound, he said – he had never heard anything like the noise of the wind on Friday night and never wants to again. -BBC