At least 26 people killed after tornado sweeps through Mississippi

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At least 26 people have been killed after tornadoes swept through America’s Deep South.

Dozens of buildings were destroyed in Mississippi, where the deaths occurred.

The state’s Emergency Management Agency confirmed that 23 people had died, four were missing and dozens were injured. It warned: “Unfortunately, these numbers are expected to change.”

There was devastation in the rural town of Rolling Fork as well as Silver City as a tornado swept north-east at 70mph without weakening.

Buildings and cars were left destroyed (Eurovision News Wire/AFP via Get)
Buildings and cars were left destroyed (Eurovision News Wire/AFP via Get)

"It is almost complete devastation," said Royce Steed, the emergency manager in Humphreys County, where Silver City is located.

Rolling Fork mayor Eldridge Walker said: "My city is gone. But we are resilient and we are going to come back strong."

Hailstones the size of golf balls were reported in thunderstorms when the tornado struck on Friday night.

President Joe Biden described the scenes as “heart-breaking” amid warnings the death toll could rise.

A man sits among the damage (Getty Images)
A man sits among the damage (Getty Images)

Emergency services are continuing to hunt for survivors with many people feared trapped in their homes by fallen trees and power lines.

The National Weather Service said the tornado was among the deadliest in the state’s history.

It looked so powerful on radar that a meteorologist paused on live television to offer a prayer as new information came in.

Major storms also hit Texas and Alabama.