Washington, Mar 26 (EFE).- The United States on Sunday maintained the highest alert for torrential storms and tornadoes for several states in the southeast and south, including Mississippi, which was hit two days earlier by a powerful storm and tornado that claimed 25 lives.
The National Weather Service said Sunday evening that it had issued a tornado watch for southern and central Alabama, where a person was killed by another tornado on Friday.
“Hazards will include a few tornadoes (a couple intense), scattered large hail (isolated very large hail), and scattered damaging wind gusts,” the agency said.
A tornado watch has also been issued for eastern Louisiana and south-central Mississippi, where there could also be multiple tornadoes, hail and wind.
“Nighttime tornadoes are dangerous as they are difficult to spot in the dark & many people are asleep or not aware of the weather at night,” the agency warned.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency also warned of “a ‘moderate’ risk for severe weather in central and parts of south Mississippi this afternoon into the evening hours.”
These alerts come two days after a series of tornadoes – about ten, the weather services estimate – hit the states of Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee on Friday night, causing 26 deaths – 25 in Mississippi and 1 in Alabama – and left dozens wounded.
Mississippi’s governor, the Republican Tate Reeves, said at a press conference on Sunday that search and rescue operations were ongoing.
He added that officials were closely monitoring the situation and emergency personnel were prepared to respond if necessary.
Hours earlier, US President Joe Biden issued a major disaster declaration for Mississippi and “ordered Federal aid to supplement State, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes,” the White House said in a statement.
“The President’s action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe, and Sharkey,” it added
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
“Damage assessments are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are fully completed,” the statement said. EFE