West News Wire: Strong thunderstorms and a “destructive” tornado that ripped across Mississippi late Friday left a trail of destruction spanning more than 100 miles and at least 23 fatalities, according to local and federal authorities.

According to the Emergency Management Agency of Mississippi, search and rescue efforts were in progress in the counties of Sharkey and Humphreys late on Friday. The organization issued a number of tornado warnings across the state’s counties.

Gov. Tate Reeves posted on Twitter that “many in the MS Delta need your prayer and God’s protection tonight.” “For those who are affected, we have activated medical support, bringing in extra ambulances and other emergency resources. There is ongoing search and rescue.

The state emergency agency reported dozens more injuries in addition to at least 23 fatalities on Twitter on Saturday.  Four others were reported missing, the agency said.

Thirteen people died in Sharkey County, Coroner Angelia Easton told news reporters, adding that she could not yet confirm their ages. Carroll County Coroner Mark Stiles said three people had died. Another two were dead in Monroe County, Coroner Alan Gurley said. Jose Watson, a Mississippi Highway Patrol trooper, said one person died in Silver City, in Humphreys County.

As thunderstorms battered the state late Friday, a tornado was reported at about 8:50 p.m. local time in the area of Silver City and Rolling Fork, the National Weather Service said.

Rolling Fork was “pretty much devastated,” United Cajun Navy President Todd Terrell said in a phone interview with a news channel.

From there, the tornado rolled on to the northwest side of Tchula and along Highway 49, officials said.

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A Tornado Emergency alert was later issued for Winona, a city about 100 miles northeast of Rolling Fork, with a “destructive tornado moving northeast through town,” NWS official said.


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