A fierce tornado blasted through Little Rock, Arkansas, on Friday, ripping away roofs and walls from many buildings, uprooting trees, flipping over vehicles and leaving hundreds of people injured, according to media reports.
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences declared a mass-casualty event after a “catastrophic” tornado hit Little Rock on Friday, a CBS affiliate reported, adding hundreds of people were injured.
Aerial footage posted by The Weather Channel showed a heavily damaged area of the city spanning several blocks with numerous homes missing roofs and walls, some of them collapsed, and overturned vehicles littering streets.
The National Weather Service also reported that tornado activity had destroyed several homes and downed trees in and around Little Rock.
The twister struck the capital city of Arkansas as an immense blast of extreme spring weather swept much of the United States, menacing the nation’s midsection from Texas to the Great Lakes with dangerous thunderstorms and tornadoes.
Tens of millions of Americans across the Great Plans, Midwest, South and East were under warnings and advisories for various weather hazards on Friday afternoon and evening and into the weekend, the National Weather Service said.
The round of turbulent weather comes a week after thunderstorms unleashed a deadly tornado that devastated the Mississippi town of Rolling Fork, destroying many of the community’s 400 homes and killing 26 people.
The weather service issued tornado watches for a region stretching from east Texas through the mid-South and Midwest as far north as Wisconsin, urging some 15 million people living in that area to prepare for violent twisters on Friday afternoon and evening.
“This is a particularly dangerous situation,” the weather service said.
Northeastern Arkansas, Missouri’s southern boot-heel, western Kentucky and western Tennessee were at greatest risk of severe thunderstorms capable of producing violent tornadoes, large hail and damaging straight-line winds, weather service said.
Several other major cities including Chicago, Indianapolis, and Memphis, Tennessee, were possibly in harm’s way of the severe weather, it added.