At least 14 people, including an eight-year-old boy, died in sudden flooding in US state of West Virginia, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said on Friday.
Calling the flooding “among the worst in a century for some parts of the state,” Tomblin told reporters that damage is widespread and devastating. The death toll could rise further, Xinhua reported.
The West Virginia governor added that search and rescue missions were a top priority.
A state of emergency has already been declared in 44 of the state’s 55 counties, according to an ABC News report.
Rescue efforts are still underway to save some 500 people, including employees and customers, who have been stranded inside a mall since Thursday afternoon after a bridge connecting the shopping centre to a main road collapsed and washed away, said the report.
As much as 8 to 10 inches of rain fell in six to eight hours in parts of West Virginia, said the National Weather Service, calling the amount of rain in such a short time likely a “one-in-a-thousand-year event”.