Tornadoes hit U.S., dozens dead

Other News Materials 18 April 2011 01:04 (UTC +04:00)

A powerful storm system hit several U.S. states through the weekend, leaving at least 43 dead before heading out to sea, according to casualty tallies released on Sunday, Xinhua reported.

The tornadoes first hit Oklahoma on Thursday, and then went east to terrorize Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia.

The hardest hit was North Carolina. At least 23 people were killed after violent tornadoes tore through the city of Raleigh and other parts of the state on Saturday afternoon and evening, state officials said on Sunday. The storms also severely injured 130 others, damaging hundreds of structures and leaving more than 84,000 people without power.

Authorities said seven died in Arkansas; seven in Alabama; two in Oklahoma; and one in Mississippi. At least five died in Virginia.

North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue has declared a state of emergency and said the 62 tornadoes reported were the most since March 1984, when a storm system killed 42 in the state.

Scott Sharp, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in Raleigh, was quoted by local media as saying "a family of tornadoes" that were part of the same thunderstorm system caused the damage. He said the tornadoes came one after another. At least eight were confirmed in North Carolina.