A tornado that tore through south-eastern Missouri overnight has caused widespread destruction and killed at least five people.
The twister that struck overnight is part of a system of extreme storms that is spawning tornadoes and threatening more death and destruction across the central US.
The severe weather has already battered areas of Michigan, Illinois and Iowa, in addition to Missouri, where the state highway patrol reported multiple fatalities and injuries after a tornado touched down in Bollinger county, south of St Louis, early on Wednesday.
State police in Missouri said later on Wednesday that teams of first responders were combing destroyed homes and businesses for more victims.
Multiple local agencies were conducting search and recovery efforts in Bollinger county, where the fatalities occurred, Sgt Clark Parrott told Reuters. He also said multiple people were injured, but did not have an exact number.
Photographs on social media from Glen Allen, Missouri – a village about 110 miles south of St Louis – showed severely damaged houses with roofs sheared off, downed trees and power lines, and debris covering roadways and yards.