(ANSA) - ROME, MARCH 25 - At least 21, according to CNN, are the victims of violent storms and one or more tornadoes that hit the Mississippi overnight, tearing the roofs off houses, devastating entire towns and causing severe blackouts for tens of thousands of people.
Search and rescue operations are still ongoing, particularly in the cities of Silver City and Rolling Fork, the latter described by one resident as "completely destroyed".
At least 13 people were killed about 60 miles northwest of Jackson in Sharkey County, where Rolling Fork is located, according to the county coroner.
Three other people were killed and at least two are critically ill in Humphreys County.
A tornado, after 20 local time (2 in the morning in Italy), moved at about 80 kilometers per hour, knocking down trees and carrying off the roofs of houses.
Thousands of people were trapped in their homes and power went out not only in Mississippi but also in Alabama and Tennessee.
Some videos released on social media show trees and houses torn down, appliances and furniture dragged out of the houses by the water.
The same "large and destructive" tornado, according to the National Weather Service, was reported near the community of Coila, which issued an additional warning for Rolling Fork, Silver City and nearby Anguilla.
There have been at least 11 reports of tornadoes in Mississippi and Alabama in the past 24 hours, according to the Center for Storm Forecasting.
It is not yet clear whether the disaster was caused by a single tornado or by multiple tornadoes.
Mississippi - Governor Tate Reeves tweeted - has activated all available medical support services.