Deadly Tornado Hits Oklahoma

Videos from the Moore (OK) Tornado Response

Moore (OK) Tornado: The Day After

Moore (OK) Tornado: Chief Bird Interview

Moore (OK) Tornado: Inside the Command Center

Moore (OK) Tornado: A Miraculous Rescue

Moore (OK) Tornado: The Selflessness of Service

Moore (OK) Tornado: A Lesson for PIOs

UPDATE 8:00 pm EDT: Oklahoma officials ( said Tuesday afternoon that they hoped to finish their search for survivors of a massive tornado by nightfall, a little more than 24 hours after the Oklahoma City area was slammed by a storm. 

UPDATE 9:55 a.m. EDT: The Associated Press reports that the state medical examiner has revised the death toll from the Moore tornado down to 24 people, as some victims were apparently counted twice.

UPDATE 5:45 a.m. EDT: The Washington Post ( reports that a spokeswoman for the state medical examiner’s office said that they have been told to expect another 40 bodies.

On the Enhanced Fujita damage scale of tornadoes, this was probably a 4 or 5, at the highest ends of violence, with winds reaching 200 miles per hour, said Russell Schneider, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., about eight miles from the path of the storm.

“It’s a very wide swath of very intense damage, a large number of structures almost totally destroyed,” Schneider said. “That in and of itself is usually indicative of a violent tornado, EF4 or EF5.”

UPDATE: NBC News ( reports that at least 51 people have been killed.

Crews frantically searched the wreckage and were only beginning to get a sense of the destruction. Officials warned the death toll could climb. At one hospital, 85 patients, including 65 children, were being treated for minor to critical injuries.

“The whole city looks like a debris field,” said Mayor Glenn Lewis of the city of Moore, which appeared to be the hardest hit.

MSN reports that ( rescue efforts continue at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., which was flattened by Monday’s two-mile-wide tornado. Several kids and adults have been pulled alive from the rubble and rescuers are searching for more children as distressed parents wait nearby. It’s unclear how many children might still be trapped. The Oklahoma City Police Department has confirmed seven children from the school were killed in the tornado.

Original Story: At least 10 people were killed Monday when a powerful tornado blasted an area outside of Oklahoma City (OK), ripping roofs off buildings, leveling homes, and cutting a wide path of destruction, reports CNN.

The victims’ bodies were being sent to Oklahoma’s office of the chief medical examiner, the office’s Amy Elliott told CNN, confirming the tornado’s first fatalities. Authorities had no immediate estimate on the number of injured.

Survivors emerged from shelters to see an apocalyptic vision — the remnants of cars twisted and piled on each other to make what had been a parking lot look like a junk yard. Bright orange flames roaring from a structure that was blazing even as rain continued to fall.

At least one school was in the tornado’s devastation zone in Moore, Oklahoma. Lance West, a reporter for CNN affiliate KFOR, said that rescuers were searching for students trapped in debris at Plaza Towers Elementary School. There were no immediate reports on the condition of the children but rescuers swarmed to the scene to begin a painstaking search.

There were 75 students and staff at the school when the storm hit, KFOR reported.

“Our worst fears are becoming realized this afternoon,” Bill Bunting, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center, told CNN soon after the tornado struck.

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