29 Apr 2014

Deadly tornadoes hit the US

7:28 am on 29 April 2014

Tornadoes have killed at least nine people in the southern and central United States.

Eight of the victims were in the northern suburbs of Little Rock in Arkansas, a state official said.

One other person was killed in the town of Quapaw in the north-east of Oklahoma where officials said many buildings were badly damaged.

Tornadoes also struck in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri, according to the BBC.

Ottawa County Emergency Management director Joe Dan Morgan said Quapaw, which has a population of about 900, was badly damaged by the tornado.

"Looks like about half of town got extensive damage as well as the fire department," he said.

The tornado then headed northwards into the state of Kansas where it struck Baxter Springs, injuring several people and causing extensive damage.

The Arkansas tornado touched down about 16km west of the city of Little Rock and left a 65km path of destruction.

It is said to have passed through several northern suburbs - including the town of Mayflower where it destroyed several buildings.

Matt DeCample, a spokesman for Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, said eight people had been killed north of Little Rock - four in Faulkner County, three in Pulaski County and one in White County.

A witness in Mayflower reported a tornado half a mile wide crossing Interstate 40 on Sunday evening, the National Weather Service said.

Over the weekend, storms struck the eastern part of the US, killing a child in North Carolina.