Tornadoes cause major damage to US Gulf Coast, killing four people

Extreme weather hit the southern US on Tuesday, killing at least four people and leaving thousands without power before Christmas

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The Independent US

Huge tornadoes have torn through the US Gulf Coast, leaving several people injured and killing four.

The southern state of Mississippi was the worst hit, with Governor Phil Bryant declared an emergency in two southeastern countries after officials confirmed that four people had died in the storms.

Bryant's office also confirmed that thousands were without power on Tuesday night around the city of Columbia, roughly 80 miles southeast of the state capital, Jackson.

Jones County Emergency Management director Marda Tullos said a man and woman were killed inside a mobile home while the Marion County coroner said two people in Columbia were killed, one in a trailer park and the other while shopping at a strip mall.

Mississippi saw extensive damage to many homes and buildings, cars were flipped, people were trapped in their houses and over 7,000 people were left without power.

Columbia in Mississippi, a city of over 6,000, was without power and the hospital was running on a generator, Marion General Hospital spokesman Millie Swann told reporters.