Washington: Tornadoes tore through the southern US state of Mississippi, killing at least 10 people, injuring nearly two dozen and destroying homes, officials said.
Victims of Saturday`s severe spring storms and tornadoes included two children -- one as young as three months and the other 14 -- a husband and his wife in Choctaw County, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jeff Rent said.
The toll was expected to mount as rescuers cleared the debris after the storms tore roofs off buildings, reduced homes to rubble, overturned vehicles, downed power lines and toppled trees.
Rescuers struggled to get to hard-hit Yazoo County, nestled in hills rising sharply out of the Mississippi Delta. In some cases, they resorted to all-terrain vehicles to reach victims.
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour declared a state of emergency in 17 counties devastated by the storms and twisters, and called on the National Guard to help local officials in their emergency response.
American Red Cross workers have also been dispatched to areas affected by the severe weather.
"The effects of these storms have left many Mississippians with destroyed businesses and without homes," Barbour said in a statement.
Downed trees and power lines damaged 30 homes and closed two roads in Warren County alone.
Strong tornadoes meanwhile developed in neighbouring states.