At least five people were killed as tornadoes wrecked havoc in the southern US state of Alabama.
The deaths were in the small town of Oatchee in Calhoun County. The tornadoes later hit Chilton County and were nearing Shelby Country.
Video posted on social media showed debris swirling in the air, trees uprooted and homes damaged.
⚠️🇺🇸#URGENT: Tornado sirens still sounding in southeast Birmingham
📍#Birmingham l #AL
This tornado has caused catastrophic damage according to multiple witnesses. Tornado sirens continue to sound as this massive tornado plows through the suburbs of Birmingham at this time. pic.twitter.com/7LDZjzFq4Q
— Intel Point ALERTS (@IntelPointAlert) March 25, 2021
Three members of one family were killed while sheltering in “a wooden structure” in the town of Ohatchee and another died in mobile home there, Calhoun County coroner Pat Brown told AFP. Another person died in the town of Wellington, Brown said.
The sheriff’s office said on Facebook that there had been significant damage in Calhoun County and advised residents to stay home and off the roads as more storms were expected.
Thousands of people were without power, according to poweroutage.us.
In 2019, more than 20 people – including three children – died after two tornadoes caused extensive damage to buildings and roads in eastern Alabama.
First Lady Jill Biden has cancelled a planned trip to the state with actress Jennifer Garner due to the storms. Mrs Biden had been due to be in Birmingham to discuss the benefits of the newly-passed Covid relief package.