Up to 100 horses are feared dead after a massive tornado ripped through the Oklahoma City area.
Authorities say two people are known to have died in twisters that ravaged the area, and six are reported to have died in Texas as storms generated a series of deadly twisters.
Oklahoma and other Midwest areas remain on high alert, with fears the storm system could generate further twisters.
KFOR.com, Oklahoma’s Channel 4, in a live feed earlier today, reported on the devastation at the 106-acre Orr Family Farm in Moore.
The farm and an adjoining horse training and agistment facility took a massive hit from the tornado.
Footage revealed complete destruction, with the remains of stalls unrecognisable. Surviving horses could be seen in the footage.
The station reported that 75 to 100 horses had died in the area and completely destroyed the farm, run by Dr Glenn Orr and his family.
It is understood the farm’s stalls and barns took a direct hit from the tornado, which was estimated to be on the ground for 40 minutes as it took out everything in its path. It was estimated to be 3.2 kilometres wide.
Residents had about 16 minutes to seek safety.
The Orr family farm, responding to messages of support on its Facebook page, said: “Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. We are sorry we cannot reply to each of you at this time, as we are focusing on our staff, families and the farm.
“We are physically alright, but we have sustained a large amount of damage at the farm, and adjacent properties.
“We are still assessing damage to both properties and animals.”
Orr Family Farm spokesman Tony Vann told Horsetalk that communications were difficult, but he managed to obtain a brief update by text-messaging Dr Orr’s son, Tom.
He said the family and staff were all right, but he did not have information on the animals.
He said he had heard the report of 75 to 100 horse deaths, but could not confirm that.
He said the block of land where Orr Family Farm stood also housed another business, Celestial Acres, which was a horse training and agistment facility.
It is understood the Orr family also own that business.
Vann said Orr Family Farm did not have 75-100 horses on its property. That raised the likelihood that at least some of the reported horse deaths may have occurred on the agistment property.
Vann said the neighborhoods devastated by the tornado seen on media footage were in some cases only a few hundred metres from the Orr property.
He said there were five staff and family in the farm’s administration office, plus seasonal workers, on site when the tornado approached. All were able to reach safety before it struck.