Soldiers and emergency teams are still searching for survivors and bodies after more than 200 tornadoes were reported in six southern US states on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The death toll has risen to 340, in what is one of the worst twister outbreaks in US history.
On Wednesday, a mile-wide tornado hit Tuscaloosa, in Alabama (photo, from bbcimg.co.uk). During a visit to the state where around 250 people died mostly on Wednesday, president Barack Obama said he had “never seen devastation like this”.
“We are going to do everything we can to help these communities rebuild,” Obama said. “We’re going to make sure you’re not forgotten.”
A million homes and businesses are still without power in Alabama.
More bodies are expected to be found in the coming days, said Alabama governor Robert Bentley.
On Friday, the mayor of Birmingham, the largest city in the state, told reporters that “whole neighbourhoods of housing, just completely gone. Churches, gone. Businesses, gone… [it] seems like a bomb has been dropped.”
Tornadoes and storms have also caused deaths in Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Louisiana, Georgia and in Virginia, where a state of emergency remains in place.
According to the Associated Press news agency, the death toll across the southern US makes it the second-deadliest tornado outbreak in US history.
In March 1925, 747 people were killed in storms in the states of Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, making it the largest death toll ever in the country’s history.