At least 45 people confirmed dead, more than 150 others seriously injured when the tornadoes and thunderstorms struck five US states.

The states that were severely affected included Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama, with Tennessee recording the highest number of victims of about 149 injured people.

U.S. President, George W. Bush offered prayers and disaster relief to all the areas that were affected by the tornadoes.

Prayers can help and so can the government, said Bush during his address in Washington. I want the people in those affected states to know that all American people are standing with them.

About 50 tornadoes are believed to have touched the down as a series of winter thunderstorms swept through various states late on Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

Union University in Jackson, Tennessee was among the severely destroyed places when two campus dormitories collapsed leaving several students injured.

Seven people were confirmed dead in Kentucky while 13 were reported dead in Arkansas.

The storms also interrupted primaries especially in Arkansas and Tennessee, on Tuesday causing several polling stations to be closed as the wave of the storm approached.