Downtown Nashville hit by tornado

The disaster has caused severe structural damage to Music City.

Nashville, home to many historic music venues, gear brands and a global epicentre for the music industry, been hit by a severe tornado. The disaster has claimed at least nine lives, according to Metro Police, and has also caused severe damage to homes and businesses in the area.

Nashville Fire Department officials say that they are responding to around 40 structure collapses across the city. Areas worst hit include Mt Juliet, a suburb to the east of the city, as well as East Nashville’s Germantown and Lebanon.

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Early reports have confirmed that live music venue Basement East has been destroyed completely, though the venue confirmed on Twitter that all staff inside were safe and unharmed.

Musician Carrie Underwood has spoken to NBC’s TODAY about how her family hid in a safe room in their house.

It is not clear at present the broader impact of the disaster, as police and fire crews still assess the damage as the sun rises on Music City.

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If you are able to, we would urge you to support those affected. The Community Foundation of Middle Tennesee has activated an Emergency Response Fund on its website. Proceeds from donations will go towards both immediate and long term support for victims of the disaster.

Updates to follow as information becomes available.

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