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Weekly wrap-up: Deadly tornadoes, huge hail lash central US; NASA captures incredible close-up footage of Mercury transit

A storm system that moved out of the Rockies and into the central United States this week produced a plethora of severe storms that pounded the region with huge hail, gusty winds and damaging tornadoes.

Two people were killed Monday night in Oklahoma as the result of large, destructive tornadoes, the Associated Press reported.

One of the fatalities was attributed to a EF4 tornado that traveled for about 9 miles near Katie, Oklahoma. The second death was reported southeast of Connerville, Oklahoma, where an EF3 tornado touched down.

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Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency for 15 counties that were impacted by tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding.

Ten injuries were reported after an EF3 tornado slammed the Mayfield, Kentucky, area on Tuesday. The twister tossed cars around and destroyed dozens of structures, including mobile homes and businesses.

On Saturday, May 7, the same storm system that caused damage in the Plains also was responsible for an EF2 tornado near Wray, Colorado, that caused damage to several homes and businesses north of town.

Large hailstones fell in Weldon Spring, Missouri, on Wednesday.

According to 9 News in Denver, at least five people were hurt.

AccuWeather and Red Cross are teaming up to provide relief to tornado victims.

From Saturday through Wednesday, there were over 70 tornado reports, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

Several days of heavy rain caused flooding problems in southern China. According to the BBC, the rains triggered a landslide at a construction site located in Fujian province's Taining County. Over 40 people were missing and another 13 were left injured after the incident.

Astronomy lovers around the world were treated to a rare sight on Monday when Mercury completed a transit, as it passed between the Earth and sun.

The transit of Mercury is a rare event that occurs roughly 13 times every 100 years. The next time it's slated to occur is when the planet passes between Earth and the sun on Nov. 11, 2019.

Several AccuWeather meteorologists and staff writers contributed content to this article.


Have questions, comments, or a story to share? Email Kevin Byrne at Kevin.Byrne@accuweather.com, follow him on Twitter at @Accu_Kevin. Follow us @breakingweather, or on Facebook