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Scenes of death, destruction as tornado strikes Oklahoma suburbs

Twenty children have been killed after the twister struck an elementary school in the town of Moore.

THE SHEER FORCE of the deadly tornado that struck Oklahoma City’s suburbs last night is evident in these images of the destruction it left in its wake.

This photo provided by KFOR-TV shows homes flattened outside Moore, Oklahoma. Pic: AP Photo/KFOR-TV

Twenty children are reported to have died as the tornado ripped through the Oklahoma City suburbs. The death toll, which stands at 51, is expected to rise. Some outlets are reporting that the toll is as high as 91.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, left, picks up a stuffed dog from the rubble of Kimberly Graham’s home, at the Steelman Estates Mobile Home Park, which was hard hit in Sunday’s tornado, near Shawnee, Oklahoma. Pic: AP Photo Sue Ogrocki

Residents braved the extreme conditions – and risked their lives – to capture the the tornado as it neared where they sheltered:


The intense weather conditions continue in the wake of the storm, with the Weather Channel showing heavy rain and lightning in many areas.

There is still a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms in portions of northeast Arkansas and the Missouri Bootheel, with damaging wind gusts of up to 70mph possible and hail measuring up to 1.5 inches in diameter possible, the Storm Prediction Centre says.

Rescue workers dig through the rubble of a collapsed wall at the Plaza Tower Elementary School to free trapped students in Moore. Pic: AP Photo Sue Ogrocki

The tornado that swept through the Oklahoma City suburbs late yesterday was up to 1.6 kilometres wide, with winds up to 320 kph. It flattened homes, started fires and struck an elementary school where children and teachers were sheltering.

A woman carries a child through a field near the collapsed Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore. Pic: AP Photo Sue Ogrocki

Those who have survived the severe weather are encouraged to go on the Safe and Well website to register that they are safe.

A fire burns in the Tower Plaza Addition in Moore. Pic: AP Photo Sue Ogrocki

The wreckage left in the tornado’s wake is almost impossible to comprehend – homes reduced to rubble, cars battered and broken, people’s livelihoods wiped out by the force of nature.

This aerial photo shows the Moore Medical center in Moore. Pic: AP Photo/Steve Gooch

An official disaster has been declared by US President Barack Obama and the rescue and recovery work is underway.


The remains of houses in Moore. Pic: AP Photo/Steve Gooch

Over a hundred people are being treated for their injuries in hospital, but that number is expected to rise. National Guard members have been sent by the Oklahoma Governor, Mary Fallin, to assist with rescue operations.

Federal aid has been sent by President Obama.

Moore police dig through the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School. Pic: AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

This aerial photo shows the remains of homes hit by a massive tornado in Moore. Pic: AP Photo/Steve Gooch

Two years ago, in May 2011, a tornado struck the city of Joplin, leading to the deaths of 158 people.  It was the deadliest recent tornado since 1953, when 116 people died after a twister hit Flint, Michigan.

A tornado moves past homes in Moore yesterday. Pic: AP Photo/Alonzo Adams

The search for victims is still ongoing, as people try to come to terms with the destruction that has been wrought on their communities.

Lee Hoyle, of Chickasaw Nation search and rescue, digs through the debris of a mobile home in the Steelman Estates Mobile Home Park, near Shawnee. Pic: AP Photo Sue Ogrocki

Read: Twenty children killed in Oklahoma twister>

Read: Six die as powerful storm hits Texas>

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