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Stunning Tornado Videos Capture Storm's Power

The power of the tornadoes that have swept across much of the South in the past few days, killing at least 178 people as they tore through, is all too terrifyingly clear in the photos and videos starting to appear on the Web.

This one, from Tuscaloosa, Ala., captures the power of a huge twister. And the sound of the person behind the camera as he or she breaths, is chilling.

Another from Tuscaloosa shows a tornado as it moves across the skyline. We'll add more news about the storms as the day continues.

Update at 2:20 p.m. ET. The View From Space:

The NOAA-NASA GOES Project has a very striking movie of what the storm looked like from space as it rolled across the South.

Update at 1:40 p.m. ET. More From Tuscaloosa:

ABC3340.com has several videos, including this tape of what the station was broadcasting Wednesday as the mile-wide tornado tore through the city. By the end, as you'll hear, the anchor is anxiously warning that "nobody should be out there!"

Update at 12:05 p.m. ET. Video From Mississippi, Via The AP:

Update at 11:25 a.m. ET. CBS-TV's The Early Show Spoke With The Man Who Shot The Tuscaloosa Video:

Update at 9:45 a.m. ET. ABC News Has Collected Videos From Several Locations:

Update at 8:58 a.m. ET. More Video From Tuscaloosa:

Update at 8:55 a.m. ET. Much Of Birmingham Was 'Totally Devastated,' Mayor Says:

Mayor William Bell of Birmingham just spoke with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep. At least 26 lives were lost in the city, according to The Birmingham News, and Bell said that in some neighborhoods it "seems like a bomb has been dropped."

"Whole neighborhoods of housing [are] just completely gone," he said. "Churches, gone. Businesses, gone."

Many people in the city, said Bell, need help — especially donations of clothing and water. The city's Boutwell Auditorium is being used as a shelter and is where donations could be delivered.

Update at 8:05 a.m. ET:

-- The worst news is from Alabama, where at least 128 people died Wednesday, The Birmingham Newsreports.

From Tuscaloosa, Pat Duggins of Alabama Public Radio says it's "a scene of utter devastation in certain portions of town," with trees and power lines down, and buildings damaged. The tornado that hit the city was an estimated mile wide.

The Tuscaloosa News says at least 32 people in the city were killed by Wednesday's storm, and another 400 were injured.

-- In Mississippi, at least 32 deaths are attributed to storms that began on Tuesday, according to The Clarion-Ledger.

-- There have been at least 16 weather-related deaths in Tennessee and the toll there is expected to rise, local WCYB-TV reports.

-- Eleven people have been killed in Georgia, writesThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

-- Authorities in Virginia report at least seven deaths after a tornado hit Washington County, the Richmond Times-Dispatch says.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.