“Apocalypse” scenes. Hitting the central and southern parts of the country between Friday and Saturday, tornadoes of exceptional intensity devastated several towns including Mayfield in Kentucky, and left at least 93 people dead.
End of the world scene in Mayfield. Flattened or gutted buildings, overturned cars or torn trees constitute a landscape of desolation over only a few square kilometers. In the aftermath of a tornado described as historic, the inhabitants of Mayfield, dumbfounded and in shock, had the greatest difficulty in the world to realize the extent of the damage suffered by this small town in Kentucky.
Indeed, this American state located in the center-east of the country was particularly bereaved by this extreme meteorological phenomenon which affected the immense American plains. Andy Beshear, governor of Kentucky, announced “at least 70 dead” in his state and indicated that he feared that the death toll would rise considerably in the hours to come. At the time of the storm, the roof of a candle factory in Mayfield collapsed in the strong winds, trapping the 110 employees present. About forty survivors were rescued.
A razed city in a particularly bereaved state
“The devastation is incomparable with anything I have seen in my life and I can hardly find the words to describe it,” said Andy Beshear, Governor of Kentucky. Mayfield, a town of 10,000 souls, was the epicenter of this disaster. “The heart of the city looks like a pile of matches,” Mayor Kathy O’Nan told CNN. “The churches in the center have been destroyed, and the court in the heart of the city has been destroyed,” she added. All over the city, there are only scenes of desolation: buildings literally blown away by the tornado, of which there are often only vestiges of heaps of bricks and wood, carried vehicles and jagged trees that now litter the streets. “It’s as if a bomb had exploded in our neighborhood,” Alex Goodman, a resident of Mayfield, told AFP after spending a stressful and agonizing night in total darkness as the distribution of electricity and electricity. drinking water is no longer guaranteed.
Warm clothes, baby diapers, bottles of drinking water and other essentials were collected by volunteers from a parking lot in the center of Mayfield, to be distributed to the victims.
The rescue services were on Sunday looking for possible survivors of the tornadoes that devastated no less than six American states. These tornadoes have been called “one of the worst tornado series” in US history by US President Joe Biden, adding that their devastation was an “unimaginable tragedy”.
Outside Kentucky, this series of tornadoes killed at least 13 people, including 6 in Illinois, due to the collapsed roof of an Amazon warehouse. Tennessee has deplored 4 deaths, Arkansas 2 dead and Missouri 1 victim only. President Joe Biden stressed that the meteorological phenomena were “more intense” with global warming, without however establishing a direct causal link between climate change and the disaster that grieved the country.