Massive tornado rips through Moore, Oklahoma: 51 killed, including 20 children

May 21, 2013OKLAHOMA A devastating, two-mile-wide tornado touched down near Oklahoma City on Monday, killing at least 51 people—including at least 20 children—decimating homes, businesses and a pair of elementary schools in the suburb of Moore. According to the state’s medical examiner, the death toll was expected to rise. The schools—Plaza Towers Elementary and Briarwood Elementary—were leveled by the tornado. It was unclear how many children were in them at the time the twister hit, but according to KFOR-TV, at least seven children died at Plaza Towers, and as many as two dozen more were feared to be trapped inside the rubble. An Associated Press photographer saw rescue workers pull several children out alive. A makeshift triage center was set up in the school’s parking lot. “This is war-zone terrible,” Jon Welsh, a helicopter pilot for KFOR who lives in Moore, said while surveying the damage from the air. “This school is completely gone.” Emergency officials urged people to remain off the roads so rescue workers and first responders could reach people potentially trapped in rubble, as the National Guard was called in to help in the search for victims. Three people were killed at a 7-Eleven in the path of the storm, CBS’ KWTV reported, including a man, woman and baby who took cover in a freezer but didn’t survive. KFOR reported a fourth person was killed there. “Our hearts are broken,” Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said at a news conference Monday evening. The tornado left a debris field 20 miles long and several miles wide. According to the National Weather Service in Norman, Okla., the tornado was on the ground for approximately 40 minutes, and a tornado warning was in effect for 16 minutes before the twister developed. Weather officials estimated the strength of the storm to be an F4 or F5 on the Fujita Scale—the highest rating a tornado can achieve. The National Weather Service said the tornado’s preliminary classification was an F4, with winds up to 200 mph. On May 3, 1999, a tornado outbreak near Oklahoma City produced 14 tornadoes—including an F5 in Moore—killing 36 people and injuring 295 others. A host on KFOR called Monday’s storm “the worst tornado damage-wise in the history of the world.” The devastated area was an estimated 30 square miles. “The whole city looks like a debris field,” Moore Mayor Glenn Lewis said on NBC’s “Nightly News. Our hospital is pretty much destroyed.” Communication was snarled as landlines and cell phone towers were knocked down. A water treatment plant in Oklahoma City was also damaged. President Barack Obama directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to prepare to get “all available assistance” to the disaster-hit area. –Yahoo News
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7 Responses to Massive tornado rips through Moore, Oklahoma: 51 killed, including 20 children

  1. hvf says:

    Prayers for the children and parents and the hurt ones and the sad ones who have lost their loved ones tonight.


  2. Dennis E. says:

    I remember in 1999 when a massive tornado pass through here and J.R. Church of Prophecy in the News reported that his son’s home was among those totally destroyed but no injuries.

    But, it has been discussed on this site and in Alvin’s publication’s regarding the increase in intense and powerful storms and instance changes in the weather. It is true that there was plenty of advance warning but with a storm of this size, I think that you can only hunker down and pray.

    just my opinion…………


  3. Brandon says:

    It’s sad to hear about these types of events. To be realistic however, we need to start preparing for these types of things not only physically and mentally but spiritually. These things will happen more and more, not less.

    Our prayers go out to those that were in harms way.


  4. ashuka1 says:

    We are praying for everyone in Oklahoma for reuniting with there loved ones.


  5. aaronwt says:

    The death toll has been lowered to 24.


  6. Irene C says:

    I was watching the live feed from the KFOR-TV helicopter as this tornado formed. That’s when I started praying for anyone in the path of this storm because it became massive so quickly. The debris path was massive. I just sat here and cried, especially when I heard that two schools had been destroyed. I was so thankful when I heard this morning that the death toll was lowered to 24; however, that number still might change. I am still praying for these people and for those who were hit on Sunday.


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