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US tornadoes: Sixth death reported from Midwest storms

A sixth person has died after tornadoes tore through the US Midwest at the weekend, emergency officials say. Earlier three girls, aged five, seven and 10, and two men were among those killed in Woodward, Oklahoma, after the town’s warning sirens failed to sound.

A flurry of twisters were also reported in Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska as the storm front moved east. Forecasters said dire warnings up to 24 hours in advance predicting severe storms had helped to save lives.

Tornado experts had said that storms on Saturday could be a “life-threatening event”.

“We knew well ahead of time that this was going to be ugly. People listened,” Tim Norton, Commissioner of Sedgwick County, Kansas, said. He added that a “month’s worth” of tornadoes had been spotted in Kansas over the weekend.

About 120 tornadoes reportedly touched down across the region on Saturday and Sunday.

Earlier, the National Weather Service (NWS) expressed concern that tornadoes could touch down in the early hours of Sunday morning and residents would not hear storm warnings as they slept. Sirens are designed as outdoor warning systems and may not reach people in their homes, emergency management officials said, urging residents to receive warnings from a range of sources.

Reports suggest that lightning knocked out the tower that triggered the storm sirens in Woodward, causing the system to fail.

In Woodward, Frank Hobbie and his two daughters died when a tornado ripped through their trailer park. Darren Juul and a 10-year-old girl also died a few miles away.

Read the full story on BBC News

Category: World News |

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Last updated October 20, 2016 at 7:03 PM
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