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U.S. storm death toll rises to at least 329, more than 2,000 injured

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U.S. storm death toll rises to at least 329, more than 2,000 injured

2011-04-30 06:14:40 GMT+7 (ICT)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) -- The death toll as a result of the violent tornado outbreak that devastated Alabama and other Southern U.S. states this week has risen to at least 329, officials said on late Friday.

The tornadoes and other severe weather has destroyed or seriously damaged thousands of houses, most notably in Alabama where 238 people were killed and 1,730 others were injured. At least six people are listed as missing in Alabama, but fears are the death toll will continue to rise further.

Officials have also confirmed 33 fatalities and 150 injured in Mississippi, 34 fatalities and 107 injured in Tennessee, 15 fatalities in Georgia, 8 fatalities in Virginia, and 1 fatality in Kentucky.

The National Weather Service (NWS) also confirmed on Friday that one of the tornadoes that struck Monroe County in Mississippi was an extremely rare EF-5 tornado, the highest rating.

"After a review of the damage photos taken during Thursday's ground survey and consultation with national experts, the National Weather Service in Memphis has upgraded the Smithville tornado rating to EF-5 damage," the NWS in Memphis said in a statement. "This is the highest rating for tornado damage and the first EF-5 or F-5 in Mississippi since the Candlestick Park tornado near Jackson on March 3rd, 1966."

The tornado in Monroe County, near Smithville, had an estimated peak wind of 205 miles (330 kilometers) per hour and a path length of 2.82 miles (4.5 kilometers). It was at one point at least half a mile (804 meters) width. It left 14 people killed, 40 injured, and destroyed scores of buildings.

As a result of the catastrophic damage, Obama signed a disaster declaration for Alabama on Thursday, ordering federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-04-30

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US tornado death toll rises to 344.

Facebook reconnects with photos

Washington - The death toll from the tornadoes that ripped across the southern United States has risen to 344, according to the US government Saturday, as homeless families sought to sort out their lives

The deaths were caused by tornadoes over 48-hours from Tuesday to Thursday morning, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said.

The twisters carried personal belongings from destroyed homes sometimes for hundreds of kilometres. But some families are reconnecting with lost documents and belongings via photos posted on a Facebook page set up by an Alabama woman.

The page, Pictures and Documents found after the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes, now sports more than 1,000 photos and has drawn 69,000 visitors .In one case, a granddaughter was connected to someone who had found a photo of her grandfather who had been killed in a tornado.//DPA

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-- The Nation 2011-05-04

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