Oklahoma has been hit by a series of tornadoes, killing a mother and her baby, authorities said. The severe weather follows a deadly twister that hit the US state on May 20, killing 24 people.
Tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma City and the surrounding area Friday, killing at least nine people, according to the state medical examiner's office.
Troopers found the bodies of a woman and her baby near a vehicle along Interstate 40, Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokeswoman Betsy Randolph said.
The interstate was shut down and emergency officials said reports of injuries were "widespread."
"The interstate is at a standstill," said Randolph. "We are begging people to get off the interstate and seek immediate shelter … we are in a dire situation."
Tornado emergency issued
At one point, the National Weather Service declared a tornado emergency for parts of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.
"What we saw from tornadoes that came through Moore and the other ones last week was that people who were in cars on the Interstate were killed," Fallin told CNN.
Some 1,200 passengers at Will Rogers World Airport near Oklahoma City were directed into underground tunnels and inbound and outbound flights were canceled.
'Damage very widespread'
The Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company reported that 53,000 customers in Oklahoma City had lost power.
"We're scrambling around," said Lara O'Leary, a spokeswoman for the local ambulance agency, told the AP news agency. "There is a very low visibility with the heavy rain … so we're having trouble getting around."
"The damage is very, very widespread," she added.
Oklahoma Cityis part of a region known as "Tornado Alley." Last week, a tornado tore through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, causing massive damage and killing 24 people.
dr/jm (Reuters, AP, AFP)