A violent tornado hit Little Rock, a large city in the southern U.S. state of Arkansas, on Friday, causing significant damage and many injuries, but no deaths, according to officials.
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“Extensive damage has occurred in central Arkansas,” Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Twitter, declaring a state of emergency in her state and mobilizing the National Guard.
“We know of 24 people hospitalized in Little Rock and no deaths at this time,” the town’s mayor, Frank Scott, wrote on Twitter.
Tornadoes, overturned cars, large uprooted trees, telephone poles snapped in two… Laura Farrar, a journalist for a local economic publication, told AFP by phone that she was “absolutely shocked” when she visited the damage near her home. in Little Rock.
“The roofs of some buildings were completely blown off,” he testified, sharing images of destroyed houses, partially collapsed walls and trees on the ground.
“The neighborhood was obviously destroyed, completely destroyed,” he added, adding that the front of the devastation was less than 500 meters wide, with “very little damage” outside.
Governor Sanders also reported “extensive damage” in the town of Vine, east of Little Rock.
Videos shared by local journalists on social media showed a vast, swirling black mass tearing through the skies of the 200,000-strong gathering on Friday afternoon.
As of 11:50 p.m. GMT on Friday, about 90,000 people were without power in Arkansas and 45,000 in neighboring Iowa, according to the specialized site PowerOutage.us.
Tornadoes, an impressively unpredictable weather phenomenon, are common in the United States, especially in the center and south of the country.
A week ago, a tornado swept through Mississippi, killing 25 people and causing extensive property damage. President Joe Biden visited the site on Friday.
As of December 2021, approximately 80 people have died from tornadoes that have hit Kentucky.
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