17 Jun 2014

Fatal tornadoes hit Nebraska

2:39 pm on 17 June 2014

One person is confirmed dead and at least 19 are hurt after two massive tornadoes tore through parts of Nebraska in the United States.

The town of Pilger, with a population of 350, has seen significant damage on Monday to a school, a bank and a church in town, and many homes in the southern portion of the town were destroyed or damaged, the BBC reports.

County commissioner Jerry Weatherholt said half the town is gone. "The co-op is gone, the grains bins are gone, and it looks like almost every house in town has some damage. It's a complete mess."

The tornadoes were 1.6km apart, the National Weather Service said, and another massive tornado has been tracked near Burwell, in central Nebraska.

The governor of the state has declared an emergency, which will allow the use of Nebraska's National Guard.

Stanton County emergency manager Sanford Goshorn told CNN his agency was still in response mode and said the number of those injured could rise. "We're still digging people out," he said.