Haunting satellite imagery shows the aftermath of a severe tornado in Mississippi.
The small town of Rolling Fork, Mississippi was decimated yesterday (March 26) by a high-speed tornado that left at least 25 people dead, according to media reports. The community lies about 90 minutes north of Jackson and like many others, is facing more severe weather due to climate change.
Maxar satellites caught evidence of the destruction from Earth's orbit, revealing information that may assist with disaster recovery. The photos show homes, buildings and other infrastructure torn to pieces by the E-4 tornado on a pathway moving from the southwest to the northeast through Rolling Fork's heart.
Related: Climate change: Causes and effects
Rolling Fork has a population of 1,883 with a median household income of about $38,500 in 2020, United States census numbers show. Roughly 20 percent of the population lives below the poverty line and most families identified themselves as Black or African-American.
The Washington Post noted that for many of these families, they have lost nearly everything and that despite commitments from all levels of government to help out, "everything that once stood for their lives is gone." Some of the town lived in rental housing without insurance, for example.
Grants for temporary housing or for repairs are available in the region, which saw wind gusts of more than 166 mph (267 km/h). Given the amount of wreckage, the total numbers of casualties and the amounts of property damage are still being tallied.
Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of "Why Am I Taller?" (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.
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Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace