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18 dead after tornadoes hit central US; millions face severe weather threats

Washington, DC [US]: Deadly tornadoes in the central United States claimed 18 lives, including four children, while millions more face continued severe weather threats, reported CNN.

Just under 109 million people across broad swaths of the US were under threat of large hail, damaging winds, and a fierce twister Sunday, mainly throughout the mid-Mississippi, Ohio, and Tennessee River valleys.

As the storms moved east, the Storm Prediction Centre warned of "violent tornadoes, extreme hail and corridors of widespread wind damage."

The watch covers parts of Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee--including in St. Louis and Jefferson City, Missouri; Paducah, Kentucky; and Carbondale, Illinois--and impacts 4.7 million people, reported CNN.

On Sunday, at least 11 tornado reports were recorded and more severe weather is expected on Memorial Day.

Over 120 million people are at risk of severe weather on Monday, concentrated over the East Coast, south of New England, where there is a level 2 out of 5 threat.

Moreover, storms that swept through Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky on Sunday continue to move east and pose ongoing threats.

According to the reports, storms projected through Monday are capable of producing severe tornadoes, large hail, and damaging winds, as reported by CNN.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people across 13 states are left without power due to deadly storms and tornadoes that hit late Sunday night.

There are currently more than 642,000 people in the dark, according to, as reported by CNN.

The bulk of the power outages are in Kentucky, where there are nearly 135,000 customers without power.

According to the National Weather Service, this is a special kind of tornado watch issued only when there's unusually high confidence in the potential of multiple at least EF2-strength and long-lived tornadoes in the area.

"Intense supercell thunderstorms will continue to develop across the watch area through this evening. Several tornadoes are likely, some of which are expected to be intense. Very large hail is also likely, along with the risk for potentially significant damaging wind gusts," the Storm Prediction Centre said.

The Storm Prediction Centre warned of several possible tornadoes, with hail larger than baseballs and widespread wind gusts up to 85 mph likely, CNN reported. 

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