State of emergency declared in seven US states

A state of emergency has been declared in seven southern US states as tornadoes and severe storms swept through the region.

States of emergency are in place in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Oklahoma, following the latest storms and tornadoes.

The storm system is forecast to hit North and South Carolina before making its way further north-east.

At least 128 people have been killed in Alabama; Mississippi officials reported 32 dead and six have been killed in storms in Tennessee. Another 11 have been killed in Georgia and one in Virginia.

Some states have suffered flooding and power cuts while three nuclear power plants in Alabama were forced to close.

A trail of devastation has been left in the wake of the freak weather conditions, with many homes and businesses destroyed.

Storms have hit states across the southern US for weeks, and another major storm system is forecast to bring heavy rain in the coming days.

US President Barack Obama said: “We will continue to monitor these severe storms across the country and stand ready to continue to help the people of Alabama and all citizens affected by these storms.”

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