03/03/2012 09:21 pm ET

Extreme Weather Of The Week (PHOTOS)

This week was marked by extreme weather in the United States, where severe tornadoes destroyed property and killed many across the American Midwest.

The resort town of Branson, Missouri was damaged by storms that also wreaked havoc elsewhere in Missouri and southeastern Illinois. The town of Harrisburg, Illinois lost residents and many others were reportedly injured.

Marysville, a southern Indiana town of about 1,900, is "completely gone," after this week's tornadoes, according to the Associated Press.

Areas of northern Alabama were also struck by tornadoes, including parts of Madison County, Alabama where homes were reportedly "leveled". Around 20 homes were also destroyed in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area.

A two-year-old girl was found alive in an Indiana field after this week's disastrous weather. According to AP, the girl -- who is the "sole survivor of her immediate family" -- is currently in critical condition at a children's hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.

In other weather news, research by British paleoclimatologists found that a "relatively modest" drought contributed to the fall of the ancient Maya empire. Rainfall in the Yucatán Peninsula dropped by about 40 percent during droughts around 830 and 928 C.E.

Below, check out photos of damage from this week's Midwest tornadoes and extreme weather events from across the globe.

Extreme Weather Of The Week 3/3/12