image sourceMississippi Highway Patrolimage captionThe highway collapse comes after intense rainfall after Hurricane Ida reached the US South

Two people were killed and at least 10 injured after a section of highway collapsed in Mississippi late on Monday.

According to police, three of the injured were taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

At least seven vehicles were involved in the crash near Lucedale, about 36 miles (69km) from Mobile, Alabama.

Local authorities believe the collapse was caused by torrential rainfall as Hurricane Ida struck the southern US.

Mississippi Highway Police said that the collapse was 50 to 60ft (15 to 18m) long and 20 to 30ft deep.

Local news channel WSDU quoted highway patrol spokesperson Corporal Cal Robertson as saying that that the collapse left cars "stacked on top of each other".

Cranes will be required to remove the cars from the hole, Mr Robertson added.

Local authorities believe that some of the drivers involved in the collapse may not have been able to see the road properly because of the heavy rains. The highway remains closed.

Over eight inches (20.3cm) of rain fell in the area during Ida, which reached the US mainland as a category 4 storm on Sunday.

What is the latest with Ida?

While Ida's speed has slowed, authorities continue to warn of storm surges and heavy rains across the southern US.

By Tuesday morning, Ida was in northern Mississippi, soaking the area with intense rain and wind.

Local officials have urged evacuated residents to delay their return home as more than one million homes and businesses remain without power, including most of New Orleans.

The death toll from Ida will likely rise in the coming days, Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Bill Nungesser said on NBC News on Tuesday.

In addition to the two killed during the highway collapse, at least two other people have been reported dead during the storm.

In Louisiana, a man died while attempting to drive across a flooded area of New Orleans. Another man died after being struck by a tree near Baton Rouge.

"Knowing that so many people stayed behind in places like Grande Isle and Lafitte where flood waters have devastated those areas, we expect there will be more people found who have passed," Mr Nungesser said.

Ida is expected to move next to the US northeast, with rain and threat of floods stretching from the Tennessee to the mid-Atlantic.

Washington, DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia are among the cities now under flash flood watches.

media captionWatch: Wind gusts of up to 172mph and heavy rain pummeled Louisiana