Over 90 feared dead after tornado hits Oklahoma City
More than 90 people, including 20 children, are feared dead after a giant half-mile wide tornado hit the US city of Oklahoma yesterday afternoon.
Smashing its way through a community of 41,000, with a wind speed of up to 200 mph, the tornado lasted nearly 45 minutes and all but destroyed the district of Moore and its neighbourhood in Oklahoma.
Homes, schools and hospitals were all reduced to piles of rubble and cars and trucks were left crumpled on the roadside.
At least 51 victims have been confirmed dead. Furthermore, 120 people are being treated at hospitals, including 50 children.
A desperate search is still under way for more survivors who were heard screaming for help, trapped under the debris. Rescue teams are working through the wreckage looking for 40 people who are still missing.
President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster area in Oklahoma and has ordered federal aid to supplement state and local efforts in Moore.
The Queen has sent a message of condolence to the US president and tornado victims, saying: “I was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of life and devastation caused by yesterday’s tornado in Oklahoma. Prince Philip joins me in offering our heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families at this difficult time. Our deepest sympathies go out to all those whose lives have been affected, as well as the American people.”
Yesterday’s tornado is the fourth tornado to hit the city of Moore since 1998. A twister also struck in 2003.