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Tornadoes rip through US Midwest

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Tornadoes rip through US Midwest

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A series of tornadoes has ripped across the US Midwest, killing at least six people in the state of Illinois.

Municipal authorities in Washington, Illinois said up to 500 homes had been flattened in that city alone. Many areas remained evacuated, for fear that remaining structures may collapse.

The unusually powerful late-season wave of thunderstorms brought damaging winds of up to 320 kilometres per hour to several states, including Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.

The tornadoes moved fast, clocking speeds of over 95 kilometres per hour. Amateur videos uploaded to the Internet showed the power of the storms.

The storm system weakened on Monday, but tens of thousands of homes remained without power.