The first reported fatalities of 2014’s tornado season were the result of a wave of tornadoes that blasted the south-central region of the U.S. on Sunday, April 27.
Rescue workers continued searching for survivors into Monday, according to a Reuters report.
Arkansas was the hardest hit of the states that experienced the twisters, with 10 fatalities in central Faulkner County and four more in other parts of the state. The state’s National Guard was deployed to help when one tornado hit the east side of Mayflower on Sunday evening, which killed at least one person, authorities say.
With trees and power lines jumbled in the wreckage, recovering survivors was a difficult task for emergency services, who searched in the dark amid the rubble.
Neighboring Oklahoma was hit in the town of Quapaw, on the state’s northeast corner, about 200 miles north of Oklahoma City. At least one person was killed in this area, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department stated.
John Benson, spokesperson for Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management, reported to Reuters that Keokuk County was also struck by the twister. The local sheriff’s office reported one fatality from a farm in the area, Benson said.
State and county officials for Baxter Springs, Kansas reported as many as 70 homes and 25 businesses were hit by a tornado there, resulting in injuries to 34 people. Nine of those victims were hospitalized. In Cherokee County one fatality was noted, though it was unclear whether that death was related to the storm.
Parts of Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi were placed under tornado watches and warnings Sunday night. At the time of the report, no further information was available on the status of the storm’s survivors.
Above: Video provided by the Associated Press shows an aerial view of the tornado destruction in Arkansas.