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Three people killed as violent tornadoes rip through US state of Missouri

Some 20 people were treated at hospitals overnight, according to officials.

APTOPIX Severe Weather Missouri This aerial image shows the severe damage caused by the storm in Jefferson City, Missouri Jeff Roberson Jeff Roberson

THREE PEOPLE HAVE been killed in Missouri, US following a deadly storm which triggered dozens of tornadoes and floods.

Rescuers have begun searching door-to-door for survivors as residents the state capital Jefferson City were taking stock of damage caused by what the National Weather Service called a “large and destructive” tornado last night.

Three people were killed in the small town of Golden City, Missouri. 

“Last night’s tornado activity and the increased flooding has been devastating our state,” Governor Mike Parson said on Twitter. 

The weather service estimated that the tornado in Jefferson City was an EF-3 on a scale of zero to five, with peak winds of 257km/h.

The tornado in the capital destroyed homes and ripped away walls and roofs. 

APTOPIX Severe Weather Missouri People walk through a street in Jefferson City following the storm Liv Paggiarino Liv Paggiarino

The full extent and cost of the damage was not immediately clear. 

“It’s just devastating to see the damage,” one resident said. 

Some 20 people were treated at hospitals overnight, according to officials. 

Despite the widespread destruction, there were no reports of deaths or additional injuries in Jefferson City. 

More storms expected

The widespread damage is expected to displace some residents for weeks and the University of Missouri has offered housing on its campus. 

“As we talk with local and state officials to understand the full scope of the disaster and recovery efforts, we will deploy additional help,” the university’s operations chief said in a statement. 

More than two dozen tornadoes were reported overnight in Missouri and neighboring Oklahoma.

US Severe Weather A destroyed sign for a car wash is seen in tornado-hit Jefferson City David A Lieb David A Lieb

Thousands were left without electricity. 

The weather service predicted strong and severe storms would continue through the weekend in Missouri and adjacent Illinois. It said it would cause ”continued river flooding throughout the Missouri and Mississippi River basins”.

In Oklahoma, floodwaters rose and damaged homes along swollen waterways. There were concerns that some dams could give way and residents were urged to be ready to evacuate. 

Includes reporting by © – AFP 2019 

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