Massive Tornado Hits Northern Illinois, Reports Of Heavy Damage

04/09/2015 09:39 pm ET | Updated Apr 10, 2015

Multiple tornados were reported in Illinois on Thursday evening, with at least one massive twister touching down near the town of Rochelle causing damage in the nearby communities of Fairdale, Kirkland and Ashton.

At least two people were killed, including a 67-year-old woman in Fairdale, and around a dozen others were treated for injuries at local hospitals, according to the fire department from the nearby town of Rockford, which has been performing search and rescue operations in the community.

The department said on Twitter that every building in Fairdale had suffered damage:

#Fairdaletornado work continues throughout the night. Additional resources will be brought in at 8 am to begin additional searches of damaged structures

The Red Cross has opened shelters in the area. Anyone seeking shelter can locate one on the organization's website.

In addition to tornadoes, here have also been thunderstorms, hail and high winds throughout the area.

Images on social media showed some of the damage to buildings and homes:

“We have five people trapped inside a restaurant at 251 on Route 64," Randy Travis, assistant fire chief in Oregon, Illinois, told the Chicago Sun-Times. "Several homes have been leveled near Flagg Center and Hillcrest, which is north of Rochelle. They are both little villages.”

Twelve people were later rescued from the restaurant, Grubsteakers, storm chaser Scott McClellan reported on Twitter. He added that there were only minor injuries.

However, the restaurant was severely damaged:

Heavy damage was also reported in the small town of Fairdale:

The Rockford Fire Department reported "significant damage" in the town of Kirkland and said it was searching for trapped victims.

The Summerfield Zoo in Belvidere was also hit by the tornado.

"A lot of fences, sheds, and building are a compete loss," the zoo said on its Facebook page. While all zoo workers were safe, two animals were killed.

At least I know Ashton's sirens work! #tornado #illinois

A video posted by Hannah Neuenschwander (@hannahjane2014) on

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