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At least seven people are dead, including two children, after a tornado almost a mile wide tore through Mississippi on Saturday, the state emergency management agency said.

The tornado raked cities on the central western border with Louisiana northeastward to Alabama, the National Weather Service reported.

At least two people were killed and 15 injured in Yazoo City, one of the hardest-hit areas, where the massive twister flattened homes and downed trees.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who was in Yazoo City where his home is located, called the twister “enormous” and “devastating,” adding that some residents were trapped in badly damaged homes.

“They’re working to get to the people and rescue as many as they can,” said Dan Turner, a spokesman for the governor, reporting “significant injuries” in at least three counties.

In all, 12 counties were reporting injuries, with some of the injured airlifted to a level one trauma center at the University of Mississippi in Jackson, said Jeff Rent, a spokesman for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

The governor is planning to activate local members of the National Guard in Yazoo City, Rent said, and the state’s emergency management officials have set up a command post near U.S. 49 in Yazoo City.

The state has also activated a 25-person rapid response team from Hattiesburg that is capable of search and rescue operations.

Mississippi residents reported that the path of the twister was a half-mile to a mile wide, said Mark McAllister, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Jackson.

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Article courtesy cnn.com