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Monster tornado kills 6 in Texas

Authorities are searching through rubble hoping to find seven missing people alive.

A family van is exposed after the garage was blown apart May 16, 2013 in Cleburne, Texas. A mile-wide tornado passed through the northern Texas suburb Granbury, damaging parts of southwestern Cleburne, and reportedly killing 6 and leaving dozens injured.

TEXAS - Six people died and seven are still missing after a powerful tornado ripped through a north Texas neighbourhood in the deadliest United States storm this year.

Authorities were assessing damage and searching through rubble on Friday, hoping to find survivors among the twisted metal and splintered wood of flattened homes.

"This tornado was a monster," said Hood County Commissioner Steve Berry. "It's just devastating."

The tornado, which brought winds of 270 to 320km/h, was rated an EF4 by the National Weather Service.

An EF4 is the second most powerful level for a storm and these rare tornadoes can blow away a well-constructed wood or brick home.

The storm blew homes from their foundations, tossed cars through the air and uprooted trees as it raged through at least four counties near the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The National Weather Service said there were reports of 10 tornadoes touching down in the area.

Granbury, a town of 8,000 people about 55km southwest of Dallas-Fort Worth was hardest hit.

Officials counted four men and two women dead in Hood County, where Granbury is located. Another seven were missing and at least 45 others were injured.

In March 2012, at least 39 people were killed in a chain of tornadoes from the Midwest to the Gulf of Mexico.

A total of 70 people were killed in tornadoes last year alone.

The tornado season in the United States typically starts in the Gulf Coast states in late winter, and then moves north with the warming weather, peaking around May and trailing off by July.

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