Tornado kills 23, several injured in the US state of Alabama: Official
Washington : A tornado tore through the US state of Alabama on Sunday, killing at least 23 people and injuring many. It also caused "catastrophic" damage to buildings and roads, a local sheriff said.
"Unfortunately our toll, as far as fatalities, does stand at 23 at the current time" Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones told the local CBS affiliate, acknowledging that children were among the dead.
"The devastation is incredible," he said.
"I cannot recall at least in the last 50 years... a situation where we have had this loss of life that we experienced today."
People who were injured in the natural calamity have been admitted to the nearby hospitals. The cops have also launched a search operation on people who went missing.
The National Weather Center had issued a tornado warning for areas including Lee County earlier on Sunday, calling on residents to: "TAKE COVER NOW! Move to a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows."
It tweeted late Sunday that the southeastern US, struck by a severe storm system, could see "damaging winds, large hail and isolated tornadoes" overnight.
While Jones referred to a single storm, CNN reported that two tornadoes had hit Lee County in quick succession, some of "at least a dozen" it said tore through Alabama and the neighboring state of Georgia on Sunday.
NWS Birmingham suggested that there were multiple twisters in the area, tweeting that the "first tornado to impact Lee County today was at least an EF-3 & at least 1/2 mi wide."
The EF-3 designation -- on a scale of 0 to 5 -- means the tornado had winds of 136 to 165 miles (218 to 266 kilometers) per hour.