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Tornado tears through Mississippi

Miami - Several powerful tornadoes ripped through the southern US states of Mississippi and Alabama, injuring at least 60 people and destroying hundreds of homes at the weekend, emergency officials said on Monday.

The city of Hattiesburg in Mississippi's Forrest County bore the brunt of the storms, with heavy rain continuing to lash the region and create a risk of flooding.

Hellen Chmiel, 57, sits in front of the remains of her home in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, after a tornado that caused much damage throughout the South Mississippi college town. Credit: Associated Press

“Two people were critically hurt in Lemar County right next to Hattiesburg, but no deaths have been reported at this stage,” Greg Flynn, a spokesperson for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), told reporters.

“Around 60 people are reported injured, but fortunately most injuries are minor,” he said.

The bad weather, however, destroyed hundreds of homes and caused damage to the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi, authorities said.

A spokesperson for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) said that while the area was hit by bad weather on Sunday, it had so far received no reports of injuries.

The National Weather Service said flooding and flash-flooding will become a concern if rainfall continues to add up across the lower Mississippi valley. - Sapa-AFP

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