Washington: More than 70 tornadoes and powerful storms have hit the US over the past 48 hours since Saturday, killing at least five people and causing considerable material damage. Eight people have also been reported missing.
Two people died in the Texas town of Van when a twister destroyed between 50 and 100 homes. It is here that the eight people are missing, fire chief Charles Allen said on Monday at a press conference.
Two other people died in the town of Nashville, Arkansas, when a powerful storm hit a mobile home park. A tornado alert has been issued for the area, the coordinator of emergency services in Howard County told media.
The fifth fatality occurred on Saturday in the city of Cisco, Texas, where another tornado also seriously injured one person, damaged a number of homes, blocked roadways and downed power lines.
Tornadoes and storms have been moving across the region over the past few days and authorities in the states of Arkansas, Texas, Kansas, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Iowa and Colorado have issued alerts.
The US government is monitoring the situation and, for now, the states have not requested federal aid, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Monday at his daily press conference.
A strong storm in Lake City, Iowa, tore the roof off a high school where an award ceremony had been under way but nobody was injured because the building had been evacuated when the storm alarms began to sound.
In Delmont, South Dakota, about 20 buildings were damaged when a powerful storm swept through. Nobody was injured but water, power and telephone services were all interrupted.