A giant tornado in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, killed 16 people and devastated homes. The twister, an estimated mile wide, was captured in dramatic amateur footage posted on Youtube.
Tuscaloosa was the worst hit of any town in Alabama, but throughout the state 128 people have died as a series of fierce storms batter the region.
As the tornado approached Tuscaloosa, a news reported on WMBA told viewers: “That is something that you pray that you never, ever ever see.”
Video footage of the tornado in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was posted on Youtube.
According to meteorologists, the tornado was the worst in Alabama’s history.
Just how much devastation the storm caused in Tuscaloosa is not yet known, but more than 16 people have been confirmed to be killed.
The twister “cut a path of destruction deep into the heart of the city,” said Mayor Walter Maddox.
“What we faced today was massive damage on a scale we have not seen in Tuscaloosa in quite some time. We have hundreds of homes and businesses destroyed and hundreds more damaged.”
Tuscaloosa residents have described the terror as Alabama’s most powerful twister tore apart their city.
Student James DiNiro told the BBC the damage in the city was akin to “photos from cities in World War II.”
“Me and a few of my friends helped pull a woman with a very severe head wound out of the rubble of her house and get her to the hospital,” he said.
“Her situation, like many others, appears grave.”
US President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency for Alabama.
“While we may not know the extent of the damage for days, we will continue to monitor these severe storms across the country,” Obama said.
“[We] stand ready to continue to help the people of Alabama and all citizens affected by these storms.”
The tornado has caused masive flooding and power cuts throughout Alabama.