Biden: Outbreak of Deadly Tornadoes 'Likely Largest' in US History as Death Toll Exceeds 70
21:30 GMT 11.12.2021 (Updated: 09:58 GMT 13.12.2021)
US President Joe Biden addressed the nation on Saturday and relayed to reporters that the overnight spell of tornadoes was possibly the "largest" to take place in US history. The commander-in-chief earlier approved an emergency declaration to release aid for those affected.
Biden described the ravaged communities across parts of the southern and central United States as "like a war zone, but worse", He told reporters that the federal government will do everything in its power to help the affected individuals and communities.
The president said that he is receiving regular updates on the situation and that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide emergency housing for those affected.
Biden also indicated that he plans to travel to the disaster site at a time when his presence will not impede rescue and disaster response teams.
The US Environmental Protection Agency and other experts will be asked by the administration to review the role climate change is likely to have had in the disastrous event.
Kentucky Gov: Death Toll 'May' Exceed 100 by End of Day
Kentucky's Governor Andy Beshear has labelled his state as "ground zero" of the disaster.
Beshear said: "I'm pretty sure that number (killed in Kentucky) is north of 70 ... it may, in fact exceed 100 before the day is done", he added, "the level of devastation is unlike anything I have ever seen".
According to Beshear, a candle factory with 110 people working in it was struck. Thus far, 40 people have been rescued from the rubble. Beshear added that it would be a "miracle" if any more people were rescued.
To give the scope of the damage, in Warren County, Kentucky, 500 homes and 100 businesses were destroyed. The governor has said that currently the most pressing way to help is by donating blood.
Beshear also detailed that one of the tornadoes that touched down in Kentucky travelled for some 200 miles.
Six states reported more than 30 tornadoes late Friday night into Saturday morning. In Illinois, an Amazon warehouse was partially destroyed, trapping over 100 workers, and in Arkansas, a nursing home collapsed.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker told reporters during a late Saturday conference that six deaths were reported at the Amazon factory. The overall death toll has since exceeded 70.
Of the six states that reported tornadoes, Missouri, Tennessee, and Mississippi appear to have suffered the least amount of damage.