Washington, Jan 22, 2017 (AFP) - At least 16 people have been killed after powerful weekend storms tore through the southeastern United States, authorities said. A rural part of south-central Georgia was hardest hit, leaving at least twelve people dead, according to the state's Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS). Four others died and 20 were injured on Saturday morning by a tornado that swept through southern Mississippi, according to that state's emergency services agency. In Georgia, eight of those killed died in southern Cook County, seven of them at a trailer park, Cook County coroner Tim Purvis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Elsewhere in the state four people died, with three confirmed injuries, according to GEMA/HS.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported extensive damage in some parts of Georgia, with numerous felled trees and downed power lines in several counties. Although storms have passed, authorities warned that a second line of severe weather is advancing, with the threat of more heavy rain and powerful winds. The National Weather Service warned of an "increased threat of strong, long-track tornadoes," that could hit northern and central Georgia Sunday evening. Some areas have already received four inches (10 centimeters) of rain and could get up to three additional inches, the NWS said.