At least six people were killed in the US state of Alabama on Thursday following thunderstorms and at least one tornado, local officials said.
A spokesperson for Autauga's County Sheriff confirmed the number of deaths to Reuters, but did not share further details.
The County coroner further added that at least four people had been killed by flying debris hurled by the tornado.
"I am sad to have learned that six Alabamians were lost to the storms that ravaged across our state. My prayers are with their loved ones and communities. We are far too familiar with devastating weather, but our people are resilient. We will get through it and be stronger for it," Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said on Twitter.
Ivey on Thursday declared a state of emergency for the six Alabama counties that have been hit hardest by the storm: Autauga, Chambers, Coosa, Dallas, Elmore and Tallapoosa.
The high winds and heavy rain damaged homes and left tens of thousands without power in parts of Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama.
This week's storm comes after 36 tornadoes had afflicted the US South at the end of last year, killing two people.