Several dead after tornado hits Texas
A tornado has caused widespread devastation and left dozens of people injured in the small town of Perryton in the US state of Texas. The whirlwind swept through the town near the Oklahoma border on Friday evening, leaving at least three people dead and up to 100 injured, according to Paul Dutcher, Perryton's fire chief. The American Red Cross has set up an emergency shelter in a hall for those affected.
Dutcher said that the storm hit a trailer park, damaging or destroying at least 30 trailers. Emergency responders from neighboring areas and the state of Oklahoma rushed to Perryton to help people trapped in the debris. The tornado also caused significant damage to two blocks of shops in the town center.
Immediate aid provided for Perryton
Governor Greg Abbott announced swift aid for Perryton and tweeted that he was praying for those affected by the "terrible storm". "Texas is ready to provide additional resources to help protect our communities," he added. Power has been cut off in the entire city, which is home to around 8,000 people. The storm caused a small bus to collide with the exterior wall of a theatre.
Power outages in four US states
About 475,000 people were without power in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oklahoma as of Saturday morning, according to poweroutage.us. On Friday, the number of affected people was estimated at nearly 50,000. Chris Samples, a radio station spokesman for KXDJ-FM, said that the station has been using emergency power supplies to stay on the air.
Alert sounded for more tornadoes and bad weather
Governor Abbott directed the state emergency agency to assist the affected region. Luigi Meccariello, a meteorologist, said there was no information about the tornado's size or wind speeds. On Thursday, for the second consecutive day, severe storms swept through parts of the US. The storm front moved southeast over neighboring Oklahoma on Thursday evening, with other severe weather warnings in place for parts of Texas and Ohio.