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Deadly twister hits Kansas town

Small town flattened by suspected tornado Saturday night

READING (UPI) | May 22, 2011

The small Kansas town of Reading was battered by a suspected tornado Saturday night and at least one person was killed, emergency management officials said.

The sky blackened and hail began pelting down around 6 p.m. and continued for about six hours, Sharon Watson of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management told reporters.

The Lyon County Sheriff's Department said there was at least one death and others had been injured, WIBW-TV, Topeka, Kan., reported.

Lyon County Commission Chairman Scott Briggs declared a state of emergency and said an emergency shelter had been opened at the town's junior high school.

"People need to stay at home or go to the shelter and stay in place," the Emporia (Kan.) Gazette quoted Briggs as saying. "No one will be allowed to search for items or to walk through the area."

A caller to WIBW said the entire town was "destroyed" by the tornado, although the National Weather Service hadn't formalized the storm involved a tornado Sunday morning.

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