“Catastrophic” tornadoes rip through Alabama, 23 dead

Mar 04, 2019, 4:13 AM EST
(Source: John Coley/flickr)
(Source: John Coley/flickr)

At least 23 people have been killed in Lee County, Alabama, dozens of houses razed, poles uprooted and debris heaped on the streets, as a flurry of tornadoes accompanied by raging winds struck south-eastern U.S. on Sunday.

Rescue operations in Lee County were called off until Monday morning and the death toll could rise as responders reach remote areas, notes the BBC. Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said that the tornadoes have caused “catastrophic” damage, and the sheer volume of debris remains a big challenge.

The National Weather Service has urged people to stay out of the damaged zones. About 10,000 customers are cut off from power amid warnings that the temperatures could drop to nearing freezing overnight, writes The Guardian.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that the tornadoes “were truly violent and more could be coming” and urged people in Alabama and surrounding areas to be careful and safe.