Home LATEST NEWS Historic tornadoes in the United States: at least 88 dead

Historic tornadoes in the United States: at least 88 dead


The MCP candle factory in the devastated small town of Mayfield was the subject of all worries: the modern building, where 110 employees were supposed to be located on Friday night, had been transformed by the elements into a tangle of joists and of twisted sheets, giving rise to fear of a very heavy toll.

View of a factory destroyed by a tornado.

The Mayfield candle factory was destroyed by the tornado.

Photo: Reuters / ADREES LATIF

But the company, after frantic searches in the rubble, was able to confirm that 94 of its employees were alive and have been foundKentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced Monday morning.

We feared it would be much worse, he confided at a press conference, seeing it as a glimmer of hope while eight people died during the destruction of the factory and eight remain missing.

A hundred rescuers, some from neighboring states, were busy Monday to free any survivors still trapped under the pile of rubble. Crane, excavators cleared the largest debris alongside rescuers, who used their bare hands.

The President showing photos testifying to the devastation in Mayfield, Ky.

President Joe Biden at a White House meeting to take stock of the situation on Monday.


Joe Biden in Kentucky Wednesday

US President Joe Biden, who assured do not want to interfere relief operations, will visit the site on Wednesday, as well as in the city of Dawson springs, a hundred kilometers away, to assess the damage.

Three days after the disaster, during which around 30 tornadoes wreaked havoc on the southern and central United States, Governor Beshear also announced Monday afternoon that at least 74 residents had lost their lives in the only state of Kentucky.

He also announced, during this press briefing, that 109 were still missing in his State.

The victims are aged from 5 months to 86 years, he had specified in the morning, very moved, warning that it would perhaps be necessary to wait weeks before having a final toll of deaths and damage.

Like the people of western Kentucky, I’m not doing so well today, he stressed, his throat tight.

In addition, 14 deaths were recorded in the neighboring states of Tennessee (4), Illinois (6), Missouri (2) and Arkansas (2), this exceptional weather phenomenon having affected six states.

No more house, no more car, nothing

In Mayfield, devastated, fallen trees and torn facades rub shoulders with buildings razed to the ground by the force of the storm.

We worked so many years for it all, and it went up in smoke, told AFP Randy Guennel, a 79-year-old retiree who said he did not have no more house, no more car, nothing.

Joe Biden declared a state of major disaster in Kentucky on Sunday, unlocking more federal aid.

People rummage through the debris of a house destroyed by a tornado.

In Mayfield, volunteers try to save some items from the ruins of Martha Thomas’ house.

Photo: AP / Gerald Herbert

We will be present to allow the population to recover and rebuild, Alejandro Mayorkas, US Secretary of Homeland Security, promised Monday morning on CNN television.

Reconstruction is underway. It’s not a matter of weeks or months, it’s something that will last for years.

A quote from Andy Beshear, Governor of Kentucky

Mr. Biden lamented one of the worst tornado series of the country’s history and called their ravagesunimaginable tragedy.

Elsewhere in Kentucky, but also in neighboring states, these scenes of destruction were repeated: flattened houses, gutted buildings, metal structures twisted by the violence of the wind. The streets were littered with overturned vehicles, torn trees and strewn bricks.

At least six people were killed in an Amazon warehouse whose roof collapsed in Edwardsville, Ill., Where rescuers were continuing their search at the end of the weekend.

Amazon's warehouse roof collapse left at least six people dead.

Emergency vehicles line what remains of the Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois.

Photo: Reuters / DRONE BASE

A new standard, according to the disaster management agency

Federal disaster response agencies have started deploying their teams to the devastated areas.

The United States faces a new standard multiplication of devastating weather events, was alarmed Sunday the head of the American Agency for Disaster Management (FEMA), Deanne Criswell.

She particularly underlined the dimension incredibly unusual and historical of these tornadoes for this season, the month of December being usually rather spared by such events in the United States.

Mr. Biden had pointed out on Saturday that the weather phenomena were more intense with global warming, without however establishing a direct causal link between climate change and the disaster that has grieved the country.

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