Powerful storms that hit the Central Region and East Coast of the United States between Friday night and Saturday morning left at least one person dead and some 2 million people without electricity while interrupting transport systems, tourism and business activities.

Meteorological authorities maintained until the wee hours Saturday its warnings of strong electric storms in parts of the East Coast including the U.S. capital, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

The storms, preceded by a heat wave in Washington D.C. and the surrounding area, also affected parts of the country's Central Region including the states of Iowa, Indiana and Ohio.

In the Washington area and the neighboring states of Maryland and Virginia, subway services were suspended, while numerous neighborhood streets were blocked by fallen trees.

Police in Fairfax County, Virginia, confirmed the death of a resident in the city of Springfield, who was killed when a tree was blown down onto his home.

At least 406,000 people suffered power outages in the U.S. capital and in nearby Montgomery and Prince George Counties in Maryland.

According to the National Meteorological Service, the cities of Washington, Atlanta, Georgia, and Louisville, Kentucky, registered maximum temperatures Friday of at least 40 C (104 F), a record for the month of June.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency Saturday morning after a series of power outages affected more than 1/2 million people in 27 counties of the state.

Authorities have warned that some areas have been hit by hurricane-force winds of at least 119 kph (74 mph).

In the town of Richmond, Indiana, television cameras showed some homes destroyed and trees fallen on top of vehicles.

The Amtrak interstate railroad has suspended service between Washington and Philadelphia due to fallen trees and power outages. EFE