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6 killed, many injured as dozens of tornadoes rip through US Midwest

At least six people were killed and dozens more injured in the US state of Illinois as tornadoes swept through Midwestern states, destroying houses and leaving hundreds of thousands without power.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), at least 10  tornadoes touched down in Illinois. Many more ripped through  other Midwest states. Forecasters say up to 53 million people  could be affected.“We obviously have a very dangerous situation on our hands and  it’s just getting started,” NWS deputy director Laura  Furgione told reporters earlier Sunday.
Four fatalities were reported by the Illinois Emergency  Management Agency. Two more were reported by the Washington  County Coroner.

A spokewoman at St. Francis Medical Center near Washington, Ill.  said the hospital was treating at least 37 patients in the  emergency room.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn urged residents to “pay  attention to all weather alerts and stay home and inside if  possible.”The National Weather Service warned of a “particularly  dangerous situation” for parts of the central US. “Several  rapidly moving, intense tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, large  hail events and damaging winds are expected in these watch  areas,” the service said.

“We have reports of homes being flattened, roofs being torn  off,” Sara Sparkman, spokeswoman for the health department of  Tazewell County, Illinois, told Reuters. “We have actual  whole neighborhoods being demolished by the storm.”

The tornado took out blocks of houses in Washington, Illinois.   “The whole neighborhood’s gone. The wall of my fireplace is  all that is left of my house,” Washington resident Michael  Perdun told AP. “I stepped outside and I heard it coming. My  daughter was already in the basement, so I ran downstairs and  grabbed her, crouched in the laundry room and all of a sudden I  could see daylight up the stairway and my house was gone.”

Another Washington resident, Alderman Tyler Gee, described the  devastation to WLS-TV. “I went over there immediately after  the tornado, walking through the neighborhoods, and I couldn’t  even tell what street I was on,” he said. “Just completely  flattened – some of the neighborhoods here in town, hundreds of  homes.”

Tornado warnings were in effect for parts of Indiana, Kentucky  and Ohio.



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