A powerful tornado left at least four people dead and ten injured in the southern US state of Texas, where officials and residents were already grappling with a heat wave.
“The town of Matador has experienced an unprecedented tornado bringing damaging winds,” the fire service in the neighboring city of Lubbock said in a statement posted to Twitter Thursday.
“There are four confirmed fatalities and ten total injuries,” it said.
The statement said that given the high temperatures, the city had opened a cooling center for residents.
Matador, with a population of about 600, is the main city in Motley County in north Texas.
The US National Weather Service, confirming the toll, described “significant damage” on the west side of Matador with several buildings heavily damaged or destroyed.
It reported at least four tornadoes on Wednesday in Texas. Rain and strong winds also hit some cities in the state.
A week ago a similar storm hit Perryton, also in North Texas, killing three people and injuring about 100.
Texas and part of the southern United States have been facing storms and a severe heat wave in recent days, with temperatures topping 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 Celsius).
Several cities, including Lubbock and Houston, have made air-conditioned shelters available.
This has also put a strain on the Texas power grid, which operates independently from the rest of the country and has seen high demand, especially in the afternoon hours, due to the heat.
On Thursday, more than 220,000 people were without power, according to Poweroutage.us, which tracks power outages across the country.