ROLLING FORK: Mississippi started clean-up operations on Sunday after a destructive tornado tore across the state, killing at least 25, shredding houses and largely wiping out the small town of Rolling Fork.

Under warm spring sunshine, shocked rescue workers surveyed the damage with roofs blown away, buildings flattened and cars smashed together amid piles of debris.

The weather system, mixed with thunderstorms and driving rain, left a trail of havoc across the southern state late on Friday, slamming several towns.

The National Weather Service gave the tornado a rating of a four out of five on the Enhanced Fujita scale, saying that it had cut a path of up to three quarters of a mile wide for 95 kilometres.

The American Red Cross moved into a National Guard building in Rolling Fork less than 24 hours after the storm struck the town, which is home to fewer than 2,000 people.

An area was set up as an infirmary and boxes full of cereal bars and baby diapers were shuttled in to provide food and medical support for storm victims who had “lost everything,” said John Brown, a Red Cross official for Alabama and Mississippi.

Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2023

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