Tornadoes blew cars off a highway and flattened homes in Texas, raising the death toll to 25 in a string of powerful storms that wreaked havoc across much of the southern US.
At least eight people were killed as tornadoes struck parts of the densely populated Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, leaving much of the region in darkness, local officials and media reported.
The Texas fatalities came after 17 people were killed in storm-related incidents since Thursday in Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas.
A tornado touched down at about 6:45pm on Saturday in Garland, Texas, city officials said in a statement.
“Five deaths have been confirmed,” the statement said. “Extensive damage has been reported to vehicles, homes, and apartments in the same area.”
The deaths are “believed to be related to vehicles struck by the tornado,” it said, adding that there was also an unconfirmed number of injuries.
The tornadoes — residents say at least four of them — snapped power cables and knocked over pylons, leaving about 50,000 people in the dark, the Dallas Morning News reported.
The Garland fatalities were apparently “blown off the highway by high winds,” Garland Police Department spokesman Mike Hatfield told the newspaper.
“We’re dealing with darkness out here,” Hatfield said. “All of the street lights and highway lights are out.”
Three other people were killed in weather-related incidents in Collin County, just north of the metroplex, the newspaper said, citing local police.
The tragedy came as millions of residents in the southern US struggle to recover from fierce storms and heavy flooding.
Feeding on unseasonably warm air, the storms and tornadoes have left a trail of destruction in rural communities from Alabama to Illinois.
In Alabama, where Governor Robert Bentley has declared a state of emergency to deal with the heavy flooding, tornadoes on Friday uprooted trees and tore off rooftops, with one touching down in Birmingham, the state’s most populous city.
“The damage was ... confined to approximately 1 square mile [2.59km2],” Birmingham Fire Department Chief Charles Gordon told CNN. “We have three houses that collapsed.”
No one died, but people were rescued from the debris, Gordon said.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and Georgia Governor Nathan Deal also declared states of emergency in their counties.
In Mississippi, 10 people were confirmed dead and about 60 others were injured on Saturday, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said on Twitter.
Among the dead was a seven-year-old boy killed when a storm picked up and tossed the car he was traveling in, fire chief Kenny Holbrook told reporters in the town of Holly Springs.
Six fatalities were confirmed in Tennessee, including three people found dead on Thursday in a car submerged in a creek, according to the fire department in Columbia, Tennessee.
Another person was killed in Arkansas.
Flood warnings and advisories also remain in effect in parts of Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and other areas in the southeastern US.
SECRET OUT: Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung yesterday accidentally revealed that the infections occurred at the ministry’s Taoyuan General Hospital The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported the fifth COVID-19 case in a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital, where four other medical workers were confirmed to have been infected over the past week. The latest case is a nurse who had tested negative on Tuesday last week, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, told a news conference. However, on Thursday, she developed symptoms, such as nasal congestion and a cough, and a second test yesterday found that she was infected, Chen said. She is the head nurse of a ward where two
VIGILANCE: While two of the cases are family members of a nurse, there is no sign of community spread and the source of infection is identifiable, the CECC said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported four new domestic COVID-19 cases associated with a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital. Since the first case was identified on Tuesday last week, five healthcare workers — two doctors and three nurses — at the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Taoyuan General Hospital have tested positive for the virus. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that two of the four new cases are the husband and daughter of a nurse (case No. 863) who had earlier been confirmed to have COVID-19. The husband (case No. 864)
Don Quijote, the biggest discount store in Japan, is opening its first store in Taiwan today. The three-story Don Don Donki store in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町) area, which operates 24 hours a day, has already created 400 jobs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said in a press release. Many Taiwanese, including Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), consider a trip to Don Quijote an essential stop in Japan. “I have been to Don Quijote at least 10 times myself,” Huang said yesterday at a news conference announcing the store’s opening. “They are rendering an important service, because we cannot travel
‘CONTAINED’: The CECC is not considering locking down the hospital where the infections were detected, as their source has been found, Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported one new domestic COVID-19 case, a doctor at a hospital in northern Taiwan where three other medical workers were confirmed to have the disease over the past week. The new case — No. 856 — is a doctor who had treated a COVID-19 patient together with case No. 838, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Case No. 838, confirmed as a locally infected COVID-19 case on Tuesday, was the first case in the hospital cluster, and later infected his partner, who is a nurse at the same