A tornado has swept through the town of Perryton in the US state of Texas, leaving behind severe damages and injuries. The storm was part of a severe weather front.
Damage and Casualties after Tornado hits Perryton
The small town of Perryton in northern Texas near the Oklahoma border was hit by a tornado that caused massive damage. Dozens of people were injured and at least three people died as the tornado left a path of destruction through the town. Fire chief Paul Dutcher said that up to 100 people were taken to local hospitals with injuries. The American Red Cross also set up an emergency shelter in a hall.
Trailer park hit by Tornado in Perryton
The storm also hit a trailer park, where at least 30 caravans were damaged or destroyed. Firefighters pulled people from the wreckage in the evening. First responders from neighbouring areas and the state of Oklahoma rushed to Perryton to help.
Immediate aid for Perryton
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced immediate aid for Perryton. He prayed for those who were affected by the "terrible storm" and said that Texas was ready to provide additional resources to help protect their communities.
Nearly 475,000 people without power
The centre of the small town of approximately 8,000 inhabitants has been destroyed. Two blocks with shops and businesses have been heavily damaged. The storm pushed a minibus into the outer wall of a theatre. People spent the last few hours of daylight after the tornado securing broken windows with boards. The entire town was without power, according to Chris Samples, spokesperson for radio station KXDJ-FM. The station itself ran on emergency power only.
Warning of further tornadoes and severe weather
Governor Abbott ordered the state emergency agency to provide all necessary support to the disaster-stricken region. Dutcher spoke to ABC News of significant damage in the north and east of Perryton, and transmission towers had fallen.
According to the website poweroutage.us, nearly 475,000 people were without power in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma in the morning. Initially, it was reported that almost 50,000 people were affected. There were no initial reports on the size or wind speeds of the storm, according to meteorologist Luigi Meccariello. The weather front moved southeast over neighbouring Oklahoma on Thursday evening. The weather service expected further storms for the state and parts of Texas. Hail and further possible tornadoes occurred in the northwest of Ohio. It was already the second day in a row that severe storms swept across parts of the US.