Fatal Storms Pummel Iowa, Reducing Parts of One Town to Rubble 

A firefighter walks among tornado-damaged homes, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Greenfield, Iowa. (AP)
A firefighter walks among tornado-damaged homes, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Greenfield, Iowa. (AP)
TT

Fatal Storms Pummel Iowa, Reducing Parts of One Town to Rubble 

A firefighter walks among tornado-damaged homes, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Greenfield, Iowa. (AP)
A firefighter walks among tornado-damaged homes, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Greenfield, Iowa. (AP)

Severe thunderstorms, apparently spawning tornadoes, raked Iowa on Tuesday afternoon, leaving parts of one town in shambles, toppling several wind turbines and killing at least one person, according to authorities and local media.

Video of the storm's aftermath aired by television station KCCI, a CBS affiliate in the state capital of Des Moines, showed several homes reduced to piles of rubble in Greenfield, Iowa, a town of about 2,000 roughly 60 miles (97 km) to the southwest.

"I've lived here all my life. I'm just praying that everyone was safe, that everybody's safe, and nobody got hurt," Valerie Warrior, a Greenfield resident, said in a KCCI interview, standing near some of the demolished dwellings. "It was scary, very scary."

KCCI reported the damage to Greenfield was apparently caused by a tornado.

Other video showed smashed vehicles and heavy damage to a gasoline station in Greenfield, the county seat of Adair County, which along with adjacent Adams County appeared to have borne the brunt of the Iowa storms in the southwestern corner of the state.

KCCI reported that Adair County Hospital in Greenfield was damaged and was evacuated, citing a hospital spokesperson.

At least one person, a woman in Adams County, was listed as a storm-related fatality, the county's medical examiner Lisa Brown said. She spoke to Reuters by phone but said she could not yet provide more details.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds declared a "disaster emergency" for 15 counties, including Adair and Adams, allowing state resources to be readily utilized in responding to the storm.

Also in Adams County, at least three wind turbines standing about 25 stories high were nearly snapped in half, with one catching fire, KCCI reported. It said several other wind turbines were damaged in Adair County.

The National Weather Service had issued tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm advisories for much of Iowa and several other Midwestern states on Tuesday, including parts of Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Earlier in the day, the weather service confirmed at least one tornado over Rollingstone, Minnesota.



NKorea Building Roads, Walls Inside Demilitarized Zone

This handout image from Planet Labs PBC taken on June 11, 2024 and received on June 12, 2024 shows a view of the Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang. (Photo by Handout / Planet Labs PBC / AFP)
This handout image from Planet Labs PBC taken on June 11, 2024 and received on June 12, 2024 shows a view of the Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang. (Photo by Handout / Planet Labs PBC / AFP)
TT

NKorea Building Roads, Walls Inside Demilitarized Zone

This handout image from Planet Labs PBC taken on June 11, 2024 and received on June 12, 2024 shows a view of the Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang. (Photo by Handout / Planet Labs PBC / AFP)
This handout image from Planet Labs PBC taken on June 11, 2024 and received on June 12, 2024 shows a view of the Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang. (Photo by Handout / Planet Labs PBC / AFP)

North Korea's military has been building roads and walls inside the Demilitarized Zone that separates it from the South, the Yonhap news agency reported Saturday.

The construction activities are taking place north of the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) that runs through the middle of the DMZ, the South Korean agency said, citing an unnamed military source.

The report follows an incident last week when South Korean forces fired warning shots after North Korean soldiers briefly crossed the MDL.

South Korean authorities said it was likely accidental, and Yonhap quoted a military spokesman as saying some of the North Koreans were carrying work tools.

"Recently, the North Korean military has been erecting walls, digging the ground and constructing roads in some areas between the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) and the Northern Limit Line in the DMZ," the military source said, according to Yonhap on Saturday.

It was not clear what they were building, the source told Yonhap.

When asked about the report, the South Korean military said in a statement that it was "closely tracking and monitoring the activities of the North Korean military", and that "further analysis is required".

It said it could not share the South Korean response to these actions "to ensure the safety of the personnel proceeding with an operation", without offering further details.

South Korea's spy agency told AFP this week that it had detected signs that North Korea was demolishing sections of a railway line connecting the two countries.

That followed an escalation in the propaganda war between the two Koreas.

North Korea sent more than a thousand balloons carrying trash into the South, describing them as retaliation for the propaganda balloons sent the other way by anti-Pyongyang activists.

Then, South Korea resumed blasting K-pop songs and news broadcasts at the North, using loudspeakers installed at the border.

The resumption of the loudspeaker campaign prompted Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, to threaten an unspecified "new countermeasure".