Δευτέρα, Νοεμβρίου 18, 2013

Fast-moving storm, tornadoes threaten US Midwest.

CHICAGO: A fast-moving storm system that produced at least one tornado in Illinois threatened some 53 million people across 10 Midwestern states on Sunday, US weather officials said.

"A confirmed large and extremely dangerous tornado" was spotted near Washington, Illinois, located about 145 miles (233 kilometers) southwest of Chicago, the National Weather Service said.

Photos taken at the scene showed structures were reduced to rubble and houses ripped open in Washington, Illinois.



"There is a lot of debris," Sara Sparkman, a spokeswoman for the health department of Tazewell County, Illinois, where Washington is located, told The Weather Channel. "We do know that shelters are being set up in some of the communities because people are being displaced out of their homes because of the storms that hit."

Sparkman added that the storm had caused damage in Washington and Pekin, south of Peoria.

It came out of a fast-moving storm system that was headed toward Chicago and threatened a large swath of the Midwest with dangerous winds, thunderstorms and hail, U.S. weather officials said.

The weather service warned residents of areas threatened by the storm "you are in a life-threatening situation .... take cover now."

At Chicago's Soldier Field, where the NFL's Bears were playing the Baltimore Ravens, officials halted play and told fans to seek shelter due to hazardous weather conditions.

"It does appear that the hardest hit part of the state was down south," Mike Masters, head of homeland security in Cook County, which includes Chicago, told Chicago's ABC-7 TV, cautioning that it was still "very, very early."

The Chicago Department of Aviation, which manages O'Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport, said that as of 1:15 p.m. Central Time (1915 GMT) both facilities were at a ground stop, meaning flights were neither arriving nor departing.

"We obviously have a very dangerous situation on our hands and it's just getting started," Laura Furgione, deputy director of the National Weather Service, told reporters on a conference call.

Tornado warnings were in effect for parts of Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri. Weather officials urged residents of areas with tornado warnings in place to take cover in interior, low-floor rooms of study buildings.

The NWS's Storm Prediction Center said the storm was moving dangerously fast, tracking eastward at 60 miles an hour (97 kph), meaning that just looking out at the storm will not be enough to let people know when to take cover.

"These storms will be moving very fast, approximately 60 miles an hour," said Russell Schneider of the Storm Prediction Center. "They will be at your location and on to the next location in a matter of minutes. As a result, people cannot wait for visual confirmation of the threat."

This storm system has some similarities to the fast-moving derecho that knocked out power to more than 4.2 million people and killed 22 in June 2012, according to Bill Bunting, forecast branch chief at the Storm Prediction Center.

"The line of storms today, we believe, when it's fully mature, will actually be larger than the areas that were affected by the derecho in June of 2012," Bunting said. "However, this will also be accompanied by a worse tornado threat in the areas that we've highlighted and large hail in Illinois and Wisconsin." 

timesofindia.indiatimes.com
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Photos:
 http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/midwest-storm-shocking-pictures-show-2802903
18/11/13
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