Children Among 23 Dead After Tornadoes Rip Through Alabama
Wild weather in America's south has flattened homes, ripped off rooftops, snapped trees and downed powerlines, and left numerous people dead.
Several tornadoes tore through Alabama's southeast on Monday, leaving at least 22 people dead and dozens more injured.
Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones has confirmed children are among the victims.
Rescue crews were forced to abandon search efforts on Monday afternoon (AEDT) because conditions were too dark and dangerous. The search is expected to resume at first light.
Authorities expect the death toll to rise, as crews sift through mountains of rubble. Some homes have been completely wiped out, leaving many families with nothing.
"We've done everything we feel like we can do this evening," Sheriff Jones said.
"The area is just very, very hazardous to put anybody in to at this point in time,” he added.
East Alabama Medical Centre said it had treated 40 patients, with others sent to surrounding hospitals for assessment.
Trucks had to be brought in to transport the injured out of some of the worst-hit areas, because ambulances couldn't get through the debris.
“This is a day of destruction for Lee County," Lee County Coroner Bill Harris told local media.
"We’ve never had a mass fatality situation, that I can remember, like this in my lifetime."
Governor Kay Ivey has declared a statewide emergency while President Donald Trump urged residents to "be careful and safe".
It wasn't just Alabama hit by the wild weather.
A tornado uprooted trees and destroyed homes in neighbouring Georgia.
Tornado warnings and watches remain in place for parts of both Georgia and Alabama through the evening.