At least 2 dead after tornadoes strike Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas, officials say.
Officials in Oklahoma and Texas say two people have died after tornadoes tore through the region on Wednesday.
The storms, which struck shortly before dawn, hit Oklahoma City and near the cities of Weatherford and Ardmore in Oklahoma.
There was no immediate information on damage in the Oklahoma City area.
Officials in Ardmore, which is about 45 miles (72km) north of Oklahoma City, said there were no reports of damage or injuries.
Officials in Oklahoma City said at least four tornadoes had hit the Dallas area and another in the Oklahoma City area, according to CNN affiliate KJRH.
The tornadoes were among the most powerful recorded in the region.
As the storms swept through the area, there was heavy, heavy rains, the National Weather Service said.
At least one death has been confirmed in Oklahoma, the weather service said.
Oklahoma fire and rescue crews were working with fire departments in surrounding communities while search and rescue operations were ongoing, the weather service told CNN.
“We have four confirmed fatalities and we have eight injured, and the number may rise,” said Shawn Norris, Oklahoma’s emergency management director.
The U.S. Storm Prediction centre issued a level-one warning of a tornado just after 5am local time.
“There is a significant threat to life in parts of the southwest central part of the state,” said Brian Hofer at the centre.
“There may be tornado winds in the immediate area. Large strong to very strong tornadoes are possible, particularly in the area of the cities of Larned and Oklahoma City.”
The storms were caused by a “significant disturbance” aloft that was moving northeast at about 45km per hour, said the weather service.
CNN meteorologist Bill Karins said the tornado was not directly hit but was a “very good distance” away from the storm.
“The tornado was an unusual