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Death toll from severe storms in U.S. reaches 300

04-29-2011 14:05 BJT

WASHINGTON, April 28 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from the catastrophic storms and tornados that swept through the southern United States has risen to around 300, with 204 confirmed fatalities in the state of Alabama alone, the latest tally showed late Thursday.

A local resident takes pictures of destroyed houses in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the United
States, April 28, 2011. The death toll from the disastrous storms and tornados that swept
through the southern United States has risen to nearly 300, with 194 confirmed fatalities
in the state of Alabama alone, the latest tally showed Thursday. U.S. President Barack
Obama will on Friday travel to Alabama, which was hit hardest by the severe storms and
tornados, the White House said. (Xinhua/Song Qiong)

In the six states including Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia and Kentucky, the death toll amounted to 290, Fox News reported, bringing the total fatalities across the whole region to around 300.

This was the worst tornado outbreak since 1974 when a super tornado killed 315 people.

In Alabama, the 90,000-strong city of Tuscaloosa was hit hardest, with at least 37 people killed, including some students, authorities said.

A man carrying a kid walks past the destroyed houses in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the United
States, April 28, 2011. (Xinhua/Song Qiong)

States of emergency have been declared in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia, and governors called out the National Guard to help with rescue and cleanup operations.

The disastrous storms have caused widespread power shortage, with approximately one million customers without electricity.

A nuclear plant in Alabama lost power because of the severe weather, and the federal nuclear safety regulator said it was monitoring the situation there.

"The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff is monitoring the situation at the Browns Ferry nuclear power plant after the site lost offsite power early Wednesday evening due to severe storms that damaged power lines in the area," the agency said in a statement issued Thursday.


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