Dozens of tornadoes tore through parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa over the weekend, and one storm yesterday killed at least four people, caught unaware as storm sirens failed to sound in an Oklahoma town.
Storms skipped across what is known as "Tornado Alley" in the US central and southern plains, and more were forecast. But casualties appeared limited because many of the twisters hit sparsely populated areas, and during daylight hours or the evening when people were still awake.
In Oklahoma, a twister struck the north-west city of Woodward early yesterday morning after lightning apparently disabled its storm-warning system. Two children died at the Hide A Way mobile-home park on the west side of Woodward, a town of 12,000 people, while two adults were killed in a small community just outside the city.