Biden approves disaster declaration in tornado-hit Kentucky

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US President Joe Biden has declared that a major disaster exists in the state Kentucky and ordered federal aid for recovery efforts in the areas affected by powerful tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding, according to a White House statement.

The President’s declaration on Sunday makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Caldwell, Fulton, Graves, Hopkins, Marshall, Muhlenberg, Taylor, and Warren, the statement added.

“Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.”

It comes after Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, who visited the hardest-hit town of Mayfield earlier earlier on Sunday, said that the death toll from the powerful tornadoes is likely to pass 100, the BBC reported.

Calling this as the most devastating tornado event in the state’s history, Beshear confirmed at least 80 deaths.

“Nothing that was standing in the direct line of (one) tornado is still standing,” he was quoted as saying.

“We’re still hoping as we move forward for some miracles to find more people.”

Besides Kentucky, tornadoes on December 10 also lashed Arkansas, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee, Xinhua news agency reported.

At 14 deaths have been reported from the other states.

20211213-115228

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