US & Canada

Three dead as tornadoes hit southern US

Tornado damage to the back part of the RV park is seen, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 near Convent, La. Image copyright AP
Image caption Two people died when a tornado struck a trailer park in Convent, Louisiana

At least three people were killed as several powerful tornadoes hit the southern United States on Tuesday.

Tornadoes lashed Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, destroying homes and businesses.

The deaths occurred when mobile homes were destroyed in Louisiana and Mississippi, officials said.

Meteorologists said the storm system could hit Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia later on Wednesday.

Two people died at a trailer park in Convent, southern Louisiana, where 90% of the homes were destroyed, emergency services said.

"These travel trailers were picked up, thrown a considerable distance and just mangled," Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said.

The governor said it was a "minor miracle" that more people had not been killed because most of the trailers were occupied when the storm hit.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The tornado damaged homes in southern Louisiana
Image copyright AP
Image caption The tornado left a trail of wreckage in its wake
Image copyright AP
Image caption Homes and cars were destroyed in a mobile home park
Image copyright AP
Image caption Some businesses were also affected

At least 30 people were taken to hospital in the state, most of them from the trailer park. Seven are in a critical condition.

The other death occurred near the southern Mississippi town of Purvis, the National Weather Service said.

A tornado was also reported in the northern Florida town of Pensacola, the weather service said.

Local media reported that three buildings in an apartment complex had been badly damaged and thousands of people in the region were without power.

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