Photo: AFP.

At least eleven people died in the south and central-eastern United States due to violent storms and tornadoes that destroyed houses and businesses

, while the Northeast prepares this Saturday for the eventual arrival of storms.

In Arkansas,

a devastating tornado killed at least five people

, said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, governor of this rural southern US state, during a press conference.

Residents of Little Rock, the state capital, woke up Saturday to a bleak picture of overturned cars, huge trees uprooted from the ground, broken phone lines and vandalized homes.

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said "about 30 individuals were transported to our local hospitals."

Lara Farrar, a journalist for a local business publication, told AFP by telephone that she was "totally shocked" by the destruction near her home in this city of 200,000.

"Some of the buildings had their roofs completely blown off," he said, sharing images of houses destroyed, with walls partially torn down and trees down.

The northeastern city of Wynne is "cut in two by damage from east to west," Mayor Jennifer Hobbs lamented on CNN.

Governor Huckabee declared a

general state of emergency

in Arkansas the day before and mobilized the National Guard, after speaking with President Joe Biden.

Mississippi Risk Management Services also reported one death and several injuries in Pontotoc County, south of Memphis.

And an elderly person died in Alabama when a tornado hit their home, Huntsville authorities said.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a tornado and severe storm watch in the northeast of the country, particularly in Ohio.

In the state of Illinois (central-eastern United States) the severe storms also left behind and various damages.

On the night from Friday to Saturday, the disaster reached the city of Belvidere, when a powerful storm caused the collapse of the roof and part of the facade of the Apollo Theater, in the middle of a concert by a heavy metal band.

Belvidere Fire Chief Shawn Schadle confirmed one person dead and 28 injured in the disaster, five with serious injuries.

In the neighboring state of Indiana,

three people were confirmed dead after a storm swept through Sullivan County

, authorities said, quoted by local media.

More than 200,000 homes were still without power as of Saturday in Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas and Illinois, according to the website.

Tornadoes, a meteorological phenomenon as impressive as it is difficult to predict, are common in the United States, especially in the center and south of the country.

A week ago, a tornado ripped through Mississippi, killing 25 people and causing extensive property damage.

President Joe Biden visited the site on Friday.

In December 2021, around 80 people were killed by tornadoes in Kentucky.

(With information from AFP)