At least 14 killed as apparent tornadoes hit U.S. southern states

2019-03-04 03:08:27 GMT2019-03-04 11:08:27(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

WASHINGTON, March 3 (Xinhua) -- At least 14 people were killed as apparent "large and destructive" tornadoes hit U.S. southern states of Alabama and Georgia on Sunday, the authorities confirmed.

The 14 deaths were in Lee County, Alabama, Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said, adding that there were also "many, many injuries."

The Lee County Emergency Management Agency, or EMA, said the worst of the damage was near the town of Beauregard, where it said earlier Sunday it had confirmed two deaths. The town is about 96 km east of Montgomery, the capital city of the state of Alabama.

More than 42,000 homes and businesses were without power in Alabama and Georgia following the severe thunderstorms, local media reported.

Photos issued by multiple media outlets showed debris from strong wind gusts and heavy rain knocking off power lines.

The U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) in Birmingham, Alabama, issued a tornado emergency at 2:09 p.m. CST (2009 GMT) Sunday due to the "confirmed large and destructive tornado."

A number of tornado warnings were issued on Sunday as powerful storms moved through parts of Georgia, including South Metro Atlanta. The NWS also declared a tornado emergency in Georgia on Sunday.

At least six people in rural Talbotton, about 129 km south of Atlanta, were injured amid the terrible weather, Leigh Ann Erenheim, director of the Talbot County Emergency Management Agency, told local media.