Several tornadoes have killed several people and caused extensive damage in the Midwest of the United States. At least four people died in Oklahoma, the state’s governor, Kevin Stitt, announced. Local media had previously reported, citing the responsible emergency services, that a four-month-old child was among the dead.

According to the governor, at least 30 other people were also injured. The Republican had traveled to the town of Sulfur, south of Oklahoma City, where there was particularly severe devastation. “What I’ve seen here in Sulfur is incredible,” said Stitt, promising quick help with reconstruction. He has declared a state of emergency for all affected parts of the state.

The city of Omaha and its surroundings in the state of Nebraska were hit particularly hard. Around 150 houses there were damaged or even destroyed, local media reported on Saturday evening (local time), citing the police. Photos and videos showed buildings of which only piles of rubble remained. About two dozen people were reportedly injured. In addition, the power went out in thousands of households. According to estimates by the weather service, the tornadoes raged on Friday with wind gusts of around 215 kilometers per hour.

Warning systems saved lives

“We were very fortunate that there were very few injuries,” said Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer. The warning systems in the city, which has around half a million inhabitants, worked well. That saved people’s lives. “It is an extraordinary miracle that we survived such a storm without fatalities,” said Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen during a visit to the site.

In Lancaster County, around 70 people were rescued from an industrial building that collapsed in the storm, the reports said. On its destructive path, a tornado moved across the Missouri River into the neighboring state of Iowa. There he caused serious damage in the small town of Minden. Around 50 houses were completely destroyed.

On Friday and Saturday alone, dozens of tornadoes and violent hurricanes were reported in five states, CNN reported. Severe weather warnings were in effect for around nine million residents. Experts attribute the increase in natural disasters in the USA – storms, floods and forest fires – to the consequences of climate change.