Update as of 5:30 a.m EDT: The death toll from the tornadoes that ravaged parts of south-central U.S. Sunday has climbed to 17, Reuters reported, citing local authorities.
"An entire neighborhood of 50 or so homes has been destroyed. Many homes are completely gone except the foundation ... There is more devastation like this in other parts of Arkansas," Tim Griffin, a state congressman, told Reuters.
Update as of 3:47 a.m EDT: At least 14 people have now been reported killed, including 13 people in central Arkansas and one person in the Oklahoma town of Quapaw, which lies in the state's northeast near the border with Kansas and Missouri, Fox News reported Monday, citing the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.
Update as of 2 a.m EDT: The death toll from tornadoes in Arkansas and Oklahoma has risen to at least 12 people, while the search for survivors continued in the darkness, according to media reports. The death toll is expected to rise as rescue teams searched through widespread wreckage. Arkansas has been the worst hit with 11 people reported dead so far while one person was reported killed in Oklahoma.
At least nine people have been killed after a severe weather system triggered powerful tornadoes that tore through the central and southern parts of the U.S. Sunday.
The tornado reportedly went through Faulkner and Pulaski counties, north of Little Rock, claiming the lives of eight people, while one was reported killed in the town of Quapaw, Okla., and also struck the states of Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri. The U.S. National Guard has been deployed in the region and officials reportedly said that the fatality count from the tornado in Faulkner County, Ark., is expected to rise. The tornado, which touched down about 10 miles west of Little Rock and moved northeast for at least 30 miles was spawned by a large storm front moving through the Midwest and south of the country, Fox News reported, citing the National Weather Service.
“We’ve got a lot of injuries and a lot of searching is still going on right now, door to door,” Matt DeCample of Arkansas governor’s office said, according to Los Angeles Times. “A lot of people [were] in vehicles thrown around the road, a lot of homes and businesses completely wiped out.”
Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas has reportedly issued a disaster declaration in the state.
"Looks like about half of town got extensive damage as well as the fire department," Joe Dan Morgan, director of Ottawa County Emergency Management, reportedly said about the situation in Quapaw, a town in Ottawa county, which has about 900 residents, and was heavily damaged by the tornado.
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management reportedly said that it was responding to multiple fatality reports in Vilonia, White and Faulkner counties. And, according to the National Weather Service's Little Rock office, a preliminary report suggests the storm may have been a series of multiple tornadoes that covered more than 80 miles in White, Faulkner, Independence and Jackson counties. More than 20,000 Arkansas Electric customers are reportedly without power.
Over the weekend, storms struck the eastern part of the U.S., killing a child in North Carolina.