Death toll rises to 70 in Kentucky after worst ever tornadoes
President Biden has paid tribute to families of the victims
The governor of the US state of Kentucky has said that more than 70 people have been killed by tornadoes which ripped through the state on Friday night.
Andy Beshear said that the figure could still rise to more than 100, labelling the tornadoes as the "deadliest tornado system" to ever hit the state.
The number of dead “may in fact end up exceeding 100 before the day is done”
Kentucky governor Andy Beshear says he believes it’s “the deadliest tornado system" to ever run through the state https://t.co/caGa1Vr01C pic.twitter.com/ZgVnd68Avd
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) December 11, 2021
Many are feared dead inside a candle factory in the town of Mayfield, and Beshear has declared a state of emergency in the state.
The tornadoes have left a trail of destruction across the country. More than 100 people are thought to have been trapped in an Amazon warehouse in Illinois after it collapsed during the tornadoes, whilst there have been multiple deaths and injuries at a care home in Arkansas.
President Biden has confirmed that he has been briefed on the events, and said it was an "unimaginable tragedy."
The president tweeted: "This morning, I was briefed on the devastating tornadoes across the central U.S.
"To lose a loved one in a storm like this is an unimaginable tragedy.
"We're working with Governors to ensure they have what they need as the search for survivors and damage assessments continue."
This morning, I was briefed on the devastating tornadoes across the central U.S. To lose a loved one in a storm like this is an unimaginable tragedy. We’re working with Governors to ensure they have what they need as the search for survivors and damage assessments continue.
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 11, 2021
Tennessee state Emergency Management Agency spokesman Dean Flener said three people had been killed in the northwest of the state. No further details were given.