Deadly tornadoes rip through Nashville

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Media captionDramatic footage of tornado-devastated Nashville

At least 19 people have died after two tornadoes ripped through central Tennessee, including the state’s biggest city Nashville.

Officials said the tornadoes also caused widespread damage to buildings in the city.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper said the city was “devastated”, and urged people to “lend a helping hand” to neighbours.

Neighbourhoods throughout the city have been plunged into darkness amid infrastructure damage.

“It is an ongoing search and rescue right now,” Tennessee Emergency Community Relations Officer Maggie Hannan told the BBC.

About 44,000 people have been left without power, Nashville Electric said.

There was also “significant damage” to John C Tune Airport, about eight miles from the city centre, the airport said.

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