Pope conveys 'heartfelt solidarity,' prayers for tornado victims

Alabama Tornado Kills At Least 22, More Still Missing

"I told them, y'all don't worry about that (the cost), I have it covered", the coroner said.

The president and Melania Trump then visited a disaster relief center at the Providence Baptist Church in Opelika, the county seat, to meet with survivors, volunteers, and first responders. "You can't help the dead folks, but you can try to help the ones that's still living", said Spann, chewing on a yellowroot twig. Her friend survived and was being treated at a hospital on Monday, WSFA's Jennifer Hornton revealed in a Facebook post.

Preliminary reports indicate the deadly twister reached an EF-4 category with winds estimated at 170 miles per hour.

"Typically, in the Southern plains of the U.S.in what they call the traditional tornado alley, that would be a fast forward speed", said Chris Darden, meteorologist in charge of the weather service's Birmingham office. Within 30 seconds, the storm came and went, leaving his home and the garage he owns badly damaged.

Twenty-three people were killed and dozens more were injured when the EF4 twister ripped through Beauregard.

As of press time, 23 people are confirmed dead, including four children.

Trump and his wife Melania Trump took a helicopter tour of the area before going to the homes of some victims in the tiny and especially hard-hit community of Beauregard, near the border with Georgia.

Trump says "it's been a tragic situation but a lot of good work is being done".

Trump has said he's instructed FEMA to give Alabama "the A Plus treatment" as it recovers.

The tornadoes, stirred up by a late-winter "supercell" thunderstorm, toppled mobile homes and uprooted massive trees on Sunday with 170 mile-per-hour (274 km-per hour) winds.

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The National Weather Service said one and possibly two tornadoes struck the area, with a powerful EF-4 twister with winds estimated at 170 miles per hour (274 kph) blamed for most of the destruction.

The NWS confirmed tornadoes south of Quincy, Florida, and another near Crawfordville in Wakulla County.

Tornadoes blitzed Alabama last weekend, killing 23 people, and ransacking parts of Georgia.

Cousins Cordarrly Jones and Demetria Jones have a hard time counting all the relatives they lost to a monster tornado that wiped out a rural community in Alabama.

As residents cope with the damage and loss from the weekend's storm, the National Weather Service is warning more tornadoes may be on the way, according to member station WBHM's Miranda Fulmore. The at-risk area is home to 41 million people and includes major cities such as Dallas, New Orleans and Atlanta.

Pope Francis is sending condolences to tornado victims in Alabama, where searchers have been scouring a dismal landscape of shattered homes, splintered pines and broken lives.

Trump flew to the state Friday to survey the damage.

All of the tornado deaths were in Alabama, though several people in Georgia were injured.

The search for dozens of missing people was focussed in the area around Beauregard, about 100km east of Alabama's capital Montgomery, where so far 23 people are known to have died in the deadliest United States twisters in almost six years.

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