Aerial footage showed the scale of the destruction caused by a deadly tornado that hit the US state of Mississippi last Friday evening, killing more than 25 people and causing extensive damage to roads, cars and homes, and whirlwinds hit entire neighborhoods and led to their collapse.
Journalist Jordan Hill shared on his Twitter account an aerial clip that has received more than 2.6 million views showing homes and structures being demolished and trucks, cars and lampposts being smashed.
The wreckage appeared in another clip by reporter Madeleine Nolan, where a tornado survivor recounts the loss of his parents in this hurricane and the destruction of their home, noting that they died together embraced.
First Light of Rolling Fork Mississippi after a Violent #Tornado last night. #mswx @SevereStudios @MyRadarWX pic.twitter.com/NG0YcI3TQn
— Jordan Hall (@JordanHallWX) March 25, 2023
US President Joe Biden mourned those affected in a tweet in which he wrote, "I pray for all those who lost loved ones in the hurricane and for all those missing," announcing the dispatch of federal aid to the affected areas.
Jill and I are praying for those who have lost loved ones in the devastating tornadoes in Mississippi and those whose loved ones are missing.
I spoke with @tatereeves, @SenatorWicker, @SenHydeSmith, and @BennieGThompson to express my condolences and offer full federal support.
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 25, 2023
"We are witnessing a tragedy," Governor Tate Reeves tweeted, citing "tremendous damage" after a series of tornadoes hit the region that crossed more than 150 kilometers from west to east of Mississippi.
At least twenty three Mississippians were killed by last night’s violent tornados. We know that many more are injured. Search and rescue teams are still active.
The loss will be felt in these towns forever. Please pray for God’s hand to be over all who lost family and friends.
— Governor Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) March 25, 2023
"The scale of loss and damage is clear in all areas and has touched entire communities," Reeves said after inspecting storm-hit Silver City, adding: "We will get through this ordeal, and we will work to revitalize the city."
One man lost his parents after the Rolling Fork tornado dropped an 18-wheeler onto their home.
"I was told they passed away in each others arms." 💔 #RollingFork #Mississippitornado @16WAPTNews @NWSJacksonMS pic.twitter.com/vOgvpyiGPk
— Madeleine Nolan (@Madeleine16WAPT) March 25, 2023
Casualties and losses
The tornado toll reached 25 dead and dozens injured, according to emergency services in Mississippi, noting that 4 people were found missing, while search and rescue teams continue to work in search of possible victims.
In the town of Rolling Fork, home to about two thousand people in western Mississippi, entire clusters of homes and buildings were destroyed, leaving only rubble, pieces of metal covered logs, and cars turned into shattered bodies.
John Brown, an official with the Alabama and Mississippi Red Cross, told AFP the town's streets had become a "war zone".
Tornadoes are a climate phenomenon that is difficult to predict and is relatively common in the United States, especially in the central and southern regions of the country.
In December 2021, 80 people were killed after a tornado in Kentucky.