- Sputnik International, 1920, 13.12.2021
Deadly Tornadoes in US
Devastating tornadoes and storms hit several US states demolishing homes, levelling buissnesses, and leaving dozens dead. Kentucky suffered the most - the death toll there could exceed 100, the governor said. US President Joe Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for Kentucky.

How US Midwest is Weathering Aftermath of Devastating Tornadoes

© AFP 2022 / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKITornado damage is seen after extreme weather hit the region December 12, 2021, in Mayfield, Kentucky. - Dozens of devastating tornadoes roared through five US states overnight, leaving more than 80 people dead on December 11, 2021 in what President Joe Biden said was "one of the largest" storm outbreaks in history.
Tornado damage is seen after extreme weather hit the region December 12, 2021, in Mayfield, Kentucky. - Dozens of devastating tornadoes roared through five US states overnight, leaving more than 80 people dead on December 11, 2021 in what President Joe Biden said was one of the largest storm outbreaks in history. - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.12.2021
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After a swarm of devastating tornadoes hit several states in the US, President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in Kentucky, pledging additional federal resources to the communities hit by the severe weather.
The storms that hit several states in the Midwest over the weekend are already considered to be among the worst in the country's history. Merciless tornadoes ripped through Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee, but in Kentucky, the damage was the most serious, with the entire small town of Mayfield basically wiped out.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said that 64 people died in the state (of whom six were children) after the tornadoes, with 105 others being unaccounted for. Earlier, local authorities had estimated that the death toll could exceed 100.
© Sputnik / Artur GabdrakhmanovAftermath of powerful tornadoes that hit Kentucky, US
Aftermath of powerful tornadoes that hit Kentucky, US - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.12.2021
Aftermath of powerful tornadoes that hit Kentucky, US
During a Monday press briefing, an emotional Beshear admitted that he was "not doing so well today".

"To the people of western Kentucky, we're not going anywhere. We'll be with you today. We'll be with you tomorrow. And we're going to be there with you to rebuild ... I think everybody in Kentucky but also everybody in the country is standing with you", the governor assured Kentuckians.

He vowed to use all available resources, including federal assistance, to help local communities recover.
Meanwhile, another Kentucky town, Dawson Springs, saw 75% of the community destroyed, leaving it in "chaos", with over a hundred names still on the list of missing people.
Local officials have compared the aftermath with "something that you would see in a war zone", according to CNN.
© Sputnik / Artur GabdrakhmanovAftermath of powerful tornadoes that hit Kentucky, US
Aftermath of powerful tornadoes that hit Kentucky, US - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.12.2021
Aftermath of powerful tornadoes that hit Kentucky, US
Beshear told CNN that there are "towns that are gone", with rescuers unable to go door-to-door, because there are "no doors". With the damage and casualties still being assessed, the White House has opened for federal assistance to reach communities, approving a disaster declaration for Kentucky.
Particularly, the declaration authorises the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) "to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures".

"Emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding", the White House said.

FEMA teams have already arrived in Kentucky, with over 300 National Guard troops deployed across the state.
© Sputnik / Artur GabdrakhmanovAftermath of powerful tornadoes that hit Kentucky, US
Aftermath of powerful tornadoes that hit Kentucky, US - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.12.2021
Aftermath of powerful tornadoes that hit Kentucky, US
Aside from this, the Red Cross said it is "working around the clock" to ensure that those affected have a place to stay, along with essentials such as food and critical relief supplies. Several emergency shelters are scattered across the impacted states, with Red Cross volunteers to help tackle the aftermath.
Other states are also struggling to recover from the tornadoes. In Missouri, the storms claimed at least two lives. Governor Mike Parsons on Sunday visited Pemiscot and St. Charles Counties: in the latter, the storm killed an elderly woman. In the Bootheel region, the severe weather claimed the life of a young child, according to the Associated Press.
In the Illinois city of Edwardsville, tornadoes caused the collapse of an Amazon warehouse, killing at least eight Amazon workers. The company's founder Jeff Bezos said that the news is "tragic" and pledged support to "all of Edwardsville".
At least one person died in the north-eastern Arkansas city of Monette when a tornado hit a nursing home. The state of Tennessee recorded four weather-related deaths.
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