Ravaged by a series of dangerous tornadoes overnight, residents of a small Kansas town were on watch as a new system of strong storms left a trail of destruction Saturday night.

Nine people were killed and more than 50 injured when a series of tornadoes swept through southwest Kansas Friday night.

Tornadoes were reported to the National Weather Service in more than six counties in Kansas and Oklahoma as the storms passed through the area.

Injuries have yet to be reported in the fresh series of storms, NWS officials said.

The National Weather Service said the storm left more than a mile wide path of damage, estimating the tornado would likely be classified as an F-4 or F-5 tornado, among the strongest ever recorded.

The same storm system was responsible for a line of tornadoes through Kansas, Illinois and Oklahoma Friday night. While some structural damage was sustained, no injuries were reported.

Officials in Greensburg, Kan. told MSNBC the victims of Friday’s storms include six people in Kiowa County, and one in Stafford County.

The Greensburg City Hall, high school and junior high school were among the estimated 90 percent of local infrastructure and homes destroyed by the tornadoes, City Administrator Steve Hewitt said.

The state’s department of transportation was working Saturday to restore emergency services to the city, Hewitt said, along with telephone service for the town’s 1,600 residents.

The National Guard was also called in Saturday to help with relief efforts among the town littered with splintered wood and the memory of a once quiet town.

President Bush was briefed on the situation, and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials said they were working with Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ office to coordinate relief.

The Midway-Kansas Chapter of the American Red Cross has set up a Disaster Relief Fund to help those affected by Friday’s tornadoes.

Contributions can be made online at www.redcross.org, or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Brandon De Hoyos is a journalist from Houston, Texas. He can be reached at brandon.dehoyos@yahoo.com






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