Least six people have been killed by tornadoes in alabama, according to local officials, who say they are “still searching for bodies”. over 35 tornadoes were reported by the national weather services (nws) across the southern us on thursday, putting more than 30 million people at risk. the governors of alabama and georgia have each signed state of emergency declarations, while california has been pummelled by a series of severe storms.
Tornadoes in the southern us occurred on thursday, with all of the reported deaths in alabama occurring in autauga county, located between the cities of montgomery and selma in the centre of the state. in selma, famous for its role in the us civil rights movement, a curfew is in affect until dawn. meanwhile on the opposite side of the country, california has been pummelled by a series of severe storms that have caused flooding, mudslides and power outages.
Nws office in birmingham warned that a “tornado emergency” had been issued for autauga county at 12:53cst (18:53gmt), and posted on twitter: “this is a life threatening situation. take shelter immediately!!”. radar tracking the storm spotted debris that was picked up and blown 20,000ft (6,100m) into the air, according to the nws. high winds have also caused major structural damage to buildings in georgia and mississippi, video posted online shows. there were no deaths from the storm reported in selma, but there were several injuries. the temperatures in alabama are forecast to drop to below freezing in the coming days, with a chance of snow possible on friday afternoon. at least 18 people have died in california due to the severe weather, with more storms forecast to pick up on friday night and over the weekend.