At least 7 dead as tornadoes slam US Midwest, South

At least seven people are dead in several US states after severe weather hit the country’s Midwest and South this week.

At least 80 tornadoes were reported across the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska within two days.

On Wednesday alone, there were 22 reported tornadoes in Oklahoma and Missouri.

A powerful tornado struck the Missouri capital late Wednesday, destroying buildings, felling power poles and sparking a vast emergency response as officials faced reports of people trapped in rubble.

The tornadoes in Missouri were among the most violent bursts of severe weather in a week when forecasters feared life-threatening storms.

There were three deaths in Missouri’s Jasper and Howard counties, according to the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

Authorities also confirmed four deaths on Tuesday in Oklahoma, Iowa and Nebraska.

Flood alerts were in effect in the Great Plains Wednesday. Another 4 inches (10 cm) of rain is expected in some of the already-flooded areas in the next 48 hours.

On Thursday, part of the storm system moves into the Northeast and brings a chance for severe weather from West Virginia to New England.

The storms on Wednesday hit on the eighth anniversary of a tornado that killed 161 people in Joplin, Missouri, one of the deadliest and most destructive tornadoes in American history.

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