Tornadoes Wreak Havoc in US Midwest; Death Toll Mounts to 94

The recovery efforts will now include additional aid, channelled by the federal government.

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In light of the devastating series of tornadoes in the midwest, United States President Joe Biden on Sunday, 12 December, upgraded the emergency declaration to a "major disaster" as at least 94 people died amidst the climate disaster, news agency AFP reported.

According to central and local officials, the death count is likely to mount, with Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear reportedly saying that cadaver dogs were still searching for bodies.

The recovery efforts will now include additional aid, channelled by the federal government.

Earlier, in a televised speech, Biden had described the disaster as "one of the largest tornado outbreaks" in the history of the US, adding that the full extent of the damage and the number of lives lost was still not clearly known.

As per news reports, over 80 people are believed to have died in Kentucky, and one of the most devastating sites is the city of Mayfield, where the tornado hit a candle factory.


Beshear added on Saturday, 11 December, that he fears more than 100 lives would have been lost in the state.

At least six others have reportedly died at an Amazon warehouse in Illinois. Northern Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee were also among the states which were hit.

'The New Normal'

Meanwhile, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Deanne Criswell referred to experience of similar, even deadlier environmental disasters as the "new normal", AFP reported.

"The effects that we're seeing from climate change are the crisis of our generation."
Deanne Criswell

The remark was made during a morning talk show on CNN.

Criswell's comment echo the concerns of meteorologists and other scientists, who have repeatedly cautioned against the advancing intensity of weather events like storms, fires, and flooding.

(With inputs from AFP.)

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Topics:   United States   Joe Biden   tornado 

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