45 dead as powerful tornadoes rip across US


WASHINGTON – At least 45 people were dead after a powerful storm whipped up tornadoes in seven southern US states, media reported Sunday. The tornadoes left a trail of destruction in North Carolina Saturday, leveling homes and businesses and knocking out power, the NBC television network reported.
The fast-moving storm toppled trees and power lines, tore roofs off houses and scattered tractor-trailers across highways. Some two dozen tornadoes were reported in the southern states of Mississippi and Alabama on Friday, a day after 15 twisters struck in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas, the National Weather Service said.
Violent weather also hit Arkansas and Georgia on Friday, US news reports said. Particularly hard-hit was the North Carolina capital city of Raleigh, where dozens of homes destroyed. Officials also reported multiple fatalities and widespred power outages throughout much of the state.
The violent weather system began late Thursday in Oklahoma, and left a trail of death and destruction as it traveled Friday and Saturday through several states, Among seven people killed in Alabama were mother and her two children, who were sheltering e inside their double-wide trailer when it was ripped from its foundation and thrown about 500 feet, landing on its roof, disaster officials said.
The potent storm had made its way into the Atlantic Ocean by early Sunday, meteorologists with the National Storm Prediction Center said.