Jefferson City tornado – Mass casualties feared as monster twister causes 'catastrophic damage' in Missouri city
MASS casualties are feared after a monster twister caused “catastrophic damage” in a Missouri city.
The Missouri Department of Public Safety said that three people have died and several were injured after southwest Missouri was hit by more severe storms.
The department said: "Law enforcement can confirm three fatalities in the Golden City area of Barton County and several injuries in the Carl Junction area of Jasper County."
The fatalities were reported late last night, said The Kansas City Star.
They occurred after the National Weather Service (NWS) received several reports of tornadoes ripping through Kansas and southwest Missouri, including one "confirmed large and extremely dangerous tornado".
Storms and torrential rains have ravaged the Midwest, from Texas through to Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois.
Authorities urged residents of several small towns in Oklahoma and Kansas to leave their homes as rivers and streams rose.
The NWS said it had received 22 reports of tornadoes by late Wednesday evening.
One tornado skirted just a few miles north of Joplin, Missouri, on the eighth anniversary of a catastrophic tornado that killed 161 people in the city.
The tornado caused damage in the town of Carl Junction, about four miles (6.44 kilometers) north of the Joplin airport.
In the Missouri capital of Jefferson City, the mayor issued a mandatory evacuation for an area involving a handful of homes. The city's airport also has been evacuated.
The Arkansas River was approaching historic highs, while the already high Missouri and Mississippi Rivers were again rising after a multi-day stretch of storms that produced dozens of tornadoes.
Forecasters predicted parts of Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas could see more severe weather Wednesday night into Thursday.
In Kansas, residents in parts of the city of Iola, along the Neosho River, were being urged to evacuate and officials had set up on emergency shelter at a community college, said Corey Schinstock, assistant city administrator.
More to follow
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