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  1. #1
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    Massive Tornado smashes Oklahoma

    Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City suburbs
    20 May 2013 Last updated at 23:14
    A gigantic tornado has ripped through a suburb of Oklahoma City, on the second day in a row the Midwestern state of Oklahoma has been slammed by twisters.

    The "mile-wide" storm destroyed a primary school, sparked fires, and flattened homes.

    Scores of primary school children are believed to be trapped under the debris, local media reported.

    On Sunday, at least two people died and 21 more were injured by the tornadoes that also razed a mobile home park.

    Children are being pulled alive from the wreckage of Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma, a suburb just south of Oklahoma City where the twister struck about 16:00 local time (22:00 BST) on Monday.

    There have been no reports of children injured or killed there.

    Volunteers and first responders could be seen picking through the rubble in aerial news footage.

    The National Weather Service (NWS) said Monday's tornado generated winds of up to 200mph (321km/h).

    "It's going to take awhile to recover from something like this," Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole told CNN.

    Tornadoes, hail and high winds also hit Iowa and Kansas, part of a storm system stretching from Texas to Minnesota.

    'Everything is gone'

    On Sunday, a tornado smashed a trailer park on Highway 102 near Shawnee.

    Oklahoma's state medical examiner confirmed on Monday that two people had been killed near the trailer park: Glen Irish, 79, and Billy Hutchinson, 76.

    Both lived in Shawnee, but it was not immediately clear if either or both lived in mobile home park.

    The Oklahoman newspaper reported that five people were brought to Norman Regional Hospital for injuries, with three injured critically.

    Thousands of residents in the affected areas have been left without power.

    Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency in 16 counties in order to send aid to the worst-hit parts of the state.

    At least four tornadoes ravaged the state on Sunday, part of a storm system that was moving north-east across the Midwestern states and Texas.

    "Right now we're in a rescue and recovery stage," Gov Fallin said. "We're still not in the clear yet."

    Presenters of a local afternoon news programme were forced to evacuate during a live broadcast as the tornado touched down on Sunday.


    BBC News - Massive tornado rips through Oklahoma City suburbs

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    A monster two-mile-wide tornado ripped through southern Oklahoma City and the suburb of Moore on Monday afternoon, leaving homes and schools in ruins and fires burning out of control.
    There was no immediate word on casualties, but aerial footage showed major destruction: flattened homes, cars flipped over and crushed, residents milling around in shock or combing through debris.
    At one wrecked school, search crews were trying to account for students in kindergarten through third grade, NBC station KFOR reported.
    “I lost everything,” a shirtless man told a reporter as he walked in a daze through the ruins of a horse farm that was obliterated. “We might have one horse left out of all of them.”

    NBC's Brian Williams and NBC's Al Roker report on the aftermath of a tornado, which is believed to have been up to a mile wide, and left a huge path of destruction as it cut across Moore, Oklahoma.
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    Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokeswoman Betsy Randolph said 200 people with minor injuries were being treated at a triage center. "Some are more grotesque," she said of the injuries.
    "We do have hope," she added. "We are seeing people crawling out of vehicles...crawling out of buildings."
    Randolph told KFOR she did not know if there were any confirmed fatalities.
    “Just being down here and seeing the rubble and the devastation, I can’t imagine that we won’t have any, but I pray God that we won’t," she said.
    A forecaster for NBC station KFOR said the tornado kicked up a debris cloud about 2 miles wide as it tracked east into residential neighborhoods in the Moore area.[at]
    A preliminary report from the National Weather Service rated the storm as at least an EF4, the second-worst category. EF4 tornadoes have winds of 166 to 200 mph.
    Oklahoma City police told NBC News southern portions of the city as well as the Moore suburb sustained "major damage... a lot of damage."

    An aerial view of some of the destruction caused by Monday's tornado.

    Two elementary schools — [at]Briarwood Elementary in Oklahoma City and Plaza Towers Elementary in Moore —[at]were heavily damaged, KFOR reported.
    It was unknown how many children may have been in the schools when the twister hit, but a KFOR reporter saw a student being rescued from Plaza Towers, where the roof was blown off and the cinderblock walls demolished.
    Hysterical parents began arriving at Plaza Towers as crews searched the rubble. A teacher told a KFOR reporter that she lay on top of six kids in a bathroom as the tornado touched down to protect them.
    Search and rescue teams converged on a staging area at the Warren Theater, which was also damaged, as the tornado churned toward other Oklahoma towns. The storms were expected to continue through the evening.
    The tornado's ferocity was reminiscent of a 1999 tornado outbreak in Oklahoma and Kansas that registered wind speeds of over 300 mph, left[at]46 dead and more than 8,000 homes damaged or destroyed.
    "A large part of the community has been affected," Jayme Shelton, a spokesman for Moore, told MSNBC.

    Please keep all those impacted by today's storm in your thoughts & prayers.#okwx
    — Governor Mary Fallin (@GovMaryFallin) May 20, 2013
    Watch live video of storms from KFOR TV
    Tens of millions of people from Texas to the Great Lakes had been warned to brace for severe weather one day after a tornado outbreak killed two elderly men in Oklahoma and turned a trailer park into splinters.
    The gravest threat appeared to be in Oklahoma and parts of Missouri, but forecasters warned that strong storms, damaging wind and pounding hail were possible as far north as Minnesota and Wisconsin.
    In all, an area covering 55 million people was under risk of severe weather, the National Weather Service said.
    Slideshow: Tornadoes ravage Plains

    Bill Waugh / Reuters
    A vast area of the central U.S. was warned to prepare for storms on Monday, after tornadoes killed one and injured 21 in Oklahoma and also hit Iowa and Kansas.

    Launch slideshow
    On Sunday, twisters killed two men in Shawnee, Okla., ages 79 and 76, and injured 21 others. The state medical examiner confirmed the second death Monday morning.
    The storms also destroyed mobile homes, flipped trucks and sent people across 100 miles running for cover. In Kansas, a weather forecaster was forced off the air as a tornado bore down on his station.
    “You can see where there’s absolutely nothing, then there are places where you have mobile home frames on top of each other, debris piled up,” Mike Booth, the sheriff of Pottawatomie County, Okla., told The Associated Press. “It looks like there’s been heavy equipment in there on a demolition tour.”
    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency for 16 counties. In Edmond, Randy Grau said he looked out a window and saw what he thought was a flock of birds heading down the street.
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    “Then I realized it was swirling debris,” he told The Weather Channel. “That’s when we shut the door of the safe room.”
    In Wichita, Kan., a tornado touched down near the airport. Two tornadoes touched down Sunday night outside Des Moines, Iowa.

    'Major damage' as huge tornado rips through neighborhoods south of Oklahoma City - U.S. News

  3. #3
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    There's some crazy footage on the new services now, devastation 2 miles wide and 20 miles long. Category EF4, the second highest level. This is massive.

  4. #4
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    Some pics just in



    A massive twister near Oklahoma City on Monday afternoon, May 20.





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    Cheers Lick, knew I could count on you, I'm on a phone at the moment and posting pics aint so easy.

  6. #6
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    Oklahoma City suburb devastated by EF-4 tornado

    A massive tornado swept through Moore, Oklahoma, on Monday afternoon, the second devastating twister to hit Oklahoma in as many days. Plaza Towers elementary school in Moore is reported to have suffered a direct hit from the tornado, and rescue crews from around the state were rushing to the area












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    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    Prayers for the folks there in OK


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    Not good.

    Why do the children go to school in these conditions?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smug Farang Bore View Post
    Not good.

    Why do the children go to school in these conditions?
    While they should have been evacuated from the area, sometimes circumstances don't allow for that (and the force of this tornado wasn't anticipated)- in many cases the school would (usually) be the safer place for them, especially in poorer areas where there are a lot of shoddy homes and trailer parks.
    There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.
    HST

  10. #10
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    Not to mention that often you do not get much advance warning of tornadoes, and these babies hit just at the end of the day, in fact the kids were due to be let out, but the teachers held them in for safety.

    the news has reported that all kids at Briarwood Elementary in Oklahoma City have been accounted for.

    dunno about the other school.

  11. #11
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    ^^ I don't believe tornado's give too much in the way of advance warning or intended locations.

  12. #12
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    Wow. Hope casualties are a lot lighter than those images would suggest.

  13. #13
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    Vast Oklahoma Tornado Kills at Least 91



    Nick Oxford for The New York Times
    Rescue workers searched the remains of Plaza Towers Elementary School through Monday night. More Photos »


    MOORE, Okla. — A giant tornado, a mile wide or more, killed at least 91 people, 20 of them children, as it tore across parts of Oklahoma City and its suburbs Monday afternoon, flattening homes, flinging cars through the air and crushing at least two schools.



    Multimedia


    Photographs
    Tornado Leaves a Trail of Destruction in Oklahoma








    An image provided by the television station KFOR-TV shows homes flattened outside Moore, Okla., on Monday. More Photos »





    The injured flooded into hospitals, and the authorities said many people remained trapped, even as rescue workers struggled to make their way through debris-clogged streets to the devastated suburb of Moore, where much of the damage occurred.
    Amy Elliott, the spokeswoman for the Oklahoma City medical examiner, said at least 91 people had died, including the children, and officials said that toll was likely to climb. Hospitals reported at least 145 people injured, 70 of them children.
    Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore was reduced to a pile of twisted metal and toppled walls. Rescue workers were able to pull several children from the rubble, but on Monday evening crews were still struggling to cut through fallen beams and clear debris amid reports that dozens of students were trapped. At Briarwood Elementary School in Oklahoma City, on the border with Moore, cars were thrown through the facade and the roof was torn off.
    “Numerous neighborhoods were completely leveled,” Sgt. Gary Knight of the Oklahoma City Police Department said by telephone. “Neighborhoods just wiped clean.”
    He said debris and damage to roadways, along with heavy traffic, were hindering emergency responders as they raced to the affected areas.
    A spokeswoman for the mayor’s office in Moore said emergency workers were struggling to assess the damage.
    “Please send us your prayers,” she said.
    Brooke Cayot, a spokeswoman for Integris Southwest Medical Center in Oklahoma City, said 58 patients had come in by about 9 p.m. An additional 85 were being treated at Oklahoma University Medical Center in Oklahoma City.
    “They’ve been coming in minute by minute,” Ms. Cayot said.
    The tornado touched down at 2:56 p.m., 16 minutes after the first warning went out, and traveled for 20 miles, said Keli Pirtle, a spokeswoman for the National Weather Service in Norman, Okla. It was on the ground for 40 minutes, she said. It struck the town of Newcastle and traveled about 10 miles to Moore, a populous suburb of Oklahoma City.
    Ms. Pirtle said preliminary data suggested that it was a Category 4 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita scale, which measures tornado strength on a scale of 0 to 5. A definitive assessment will not be available until Tuesday, she said.
    Moore was the scene of another huge tornado, in May 1999, in which winds reached record speeds of 302 m.p.h., and experts said severe weather was common in the region this time of year.
    But the region has rarely had a tornado as big and as powerful as the one on Monday.
    Television on Monday showed destruction spread over a vast area, with blocks upon blocks of homes and businesses destroyed. Residents, some partly clothed and apparently caught by sur prise, were shown picking through rubble. Several structures were on fire, and cars had been tossed around, flipped over and stacked on top of each other. Kelcy Trowbridge, her husband and their three young children piled into their neighbor’s cellar just outside of Moore and hud dled together for about five minutes, wrapped under a blanket as the tornado screamed above them, debris smashing against the cellar door.
    They emerged to find their home flattened and the family car resting upside down a few houses away. Ms. Trowbridge’s husband rushed toward what was left of their home and began sifting through the debris, then stopped, and told her to call the police.
    He had found the body of a little girl, about 2 or 3 years old, she said.
    “He knew she was already gone,” Ms. Trowbridge said. “When the police got there, he just bawled.”
    She said: “My neighborhood is gone. It’s flattened. Demolished. The street is gone. The next block over, it’s in pieces.”
    Next Page »
    Nick Oxford reported from Moore, and Michael Schwirtz from New York. Leslie Metzger and Kathleen Johnson contributed reporting from Norman, Okla., and Dan Frosch from Denver.


    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/us...homa.html?_r=0

  14. #14
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    Crap,
    Must be hard to have to live in an area where death can come with little warning. It seems that as th climate continues to change these storms are expected to intensify in years to come.

    I just had a crap few days! Boy have I got nothing to complain about. So hard to conceive what it must be like to have your world destroyed in just a few seconds. Poor Buggers hope the unnanny state can cuddle up and help!

  15. #15
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    A woman is pulled out from under tornado debris at the Plaza Towers School in Moore








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  20. #20
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    Fark...just been watching images of it on BBC news, truly devastating.

    RIP to the dead, especially the schoolchildren.

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    According to Sky this is the only news in the whole world worth reporting today.

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    Same area is getting hit badly again.

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    Damage from the first one was worse than Hiroshima or so they reckoned. OK = Tornado Alley.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee View Post
    Damage from the first one was worse than Hiroshima or so they reckoned. OK = Tornado Alley.
    Part of the problem is, they are still clearing up from last time. So there is a lot of debris for the storm to pick up and throw around.

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