At least three tornadoes caused massive destruction in the southern US state of Alabama, killing at least 23 people in Lee County and uprooting trees and property.

Search and rescue efforts continued throughout Monday and the death toll is expected to rise. The Lee county coroner, Bill Harris, said there were children among the dead. According to The Guardian, “several people” were still unaccounted for in the community of Beauregard, which bore the brunt of the tornadoes that were accompanied by winds estimated at between 218 kmph (136 mph) and 265.5 kmph (165 mph).

Videos shared by people on the ground showed houses razed to their foundations and debris scattered everywhere. The surviving residents said they had less than five minutes warning before the tornadoes struck.

President Donald Trump tweeted that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had been “to give the A Plus treatment to the Great State of Alabama and the wonderful people who have been so devastated by the Tornadoes”.