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Assessing the tornado damage in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Sean Gardner / Getty Images

Ellen Chmiel sits on the steps of her home on Feb. 11, 2013, a day after a tornado touched down in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Hundreds of homes were destroyed and over sixty people injured when the tornado ripped through the town.

Sean Gardner / Getty Images

Jordon Williams walks through her bedroom on Monday, Feb. 11, a day after a tornado touched down in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Rogelio V. Solis / AP

The destruction caused by a tornado in Hattiesburg, Miss., included damage to Westminster Presbyterian Church and a truck flattened by the falling bricks.

Chuck Cook / AP

Ogletree House lies in ruins on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., Monday, Feb. 11. The building, built in 1912, housed the university alumni association offices.

Published at 1:59 p.m. ET:

By Emily Le Coz, Reuters - TUPELO, Miss. - A swarm of tornadoes tore through several counties in southern Mississippi and Alabama on Sunday, injuring at least 10 people and ripping apart hundreds of homes and other buildings, including parts of the University of Southern Mississippi, authorities said.

The Forrest County seat of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and the adjacent town of Petal, both about 100 miles southeast of Jackson, the state capital, bore the brunt of storms that struck less than an hour before dark.

The tornado that plowed through the Hattiesburg area was believed to have reached three-quarters of a mile in diameter at times, said Anna Weber, a National Weather Service meteorologist. Full story.

Related: Tornado damage to University of Southern Mississippi estimated in tens of millions