Final US tornado death toll is 12
Two days after a giant tornado swept through the southern US states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, the death toll stood at 12, according to the southern Mississippi broadcaster WLOX13.
Rescue teams continued to search Monday for survivors amidst the devastation, with access to remote areas limited due to fallen trees. National Guard units were helping with the clean-up, dpa reported.
Saturday's tornado, with 240-kilometre-an-hour winds, scrubbed across Louisiana and Mississippi, part of a storm cell that spouted tornadoes across the US south and midwest. Ten of the deaths were in Mississippi, including three children - two of them siblings, and two deaths were in Alabama.
An estimated 680 homes were damaged in the hardest-hit Mississippi towns, the broadcaster reported. About 140 of the homes were totally destroyed, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour said.
The lethal twister, with its funnel measuring up to 1.2 kilometres wide, first touched down in Louisiana, stormed across Yazoo City, Mississippi, on the Mississippi River Delta, and pushed eastwards across Mississippi.
The tornado was worse than most had ever seen in Mississippi. Especially hard hit was Yazoo County and Yazoo City, population 14,500, where a huge church was levelled.