Un poderoso tornado arremetió una zona fuera de la ciudad de Oklahoma en la tarde de hoy lunes, arrancando los techos de los edificios, arrasó viviendas y dejó una banda masiva de destrucción a su paso.

Al menos 91 muertos habían sido confirmados por el New York Times. Se informó de numerosos heridos, aunque en los segundos desesperados y minutos después de la tormenta pasó, el número de víctimas aún estaba por empezar a contarse.

De los muertos, al menos 20 son alumnos de escuela primaria, dijo CNN. El número de heridos subió a 145.

Los números iban a crecer durante el transcurso de las operaciones de salvataje esta noche.

Para mañana, el servicio meteorológico de la zona informó sobre la posibilidad de tornados adicionales.

En un comunicado de prensa de la Casa Blanca, el Presidente Barack Obama declaró el evento un "desastre mayor" y ordenó ayuda federal para complementar los esfuerzos estatales y locales afectados por las tormentas. La acción del presidente hace accesible ayuda federal a personas afectadas en los condados de Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma y Pottawatomie. Incluye dinero para vivienda temporaria y reparaciones de casas, préstamos de bajo costo para cubrir pérdidas no aseguradas de viviendas y otros programas.

Los sobrevivientes salieron de los refugios para ver una visión apocalíptica - los restos de coches retorcidos y amontonados unos sobre otros para ver que lo que había sido un parque de estacionamiento era depósito de chatarra. Llamas de color naranja brillante rugido de una estructura que ardía aún cuando la lluvia caía en el lugar.

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“Nuestros peores temores se hicieron realidad esta tarde”, dijo Bill Bunting, de Centro de Presdiccioón en la Administración Nacional de Océanos y Atmósfera (NOAA).

El portavoz de NOAA dijo que lamentablemente, lo peor estaba todavía por venir, dijo CNN.

“Estas tormentas continúan produciendo tornados. También producen un enorme granizo, de un tamaño mayor quizás al de una pelota de béisbol. También nos preocupa que haya daño causado con los vientos cuando varias tormentas se junten o choquen”, dijo.

“Es malo, pero no ha terminado”.

Dos escuelas primarias fueron destruida y todavía se buscaban víctimas en su alrededor. El New York Times reportó que en horas de la noche los rescatistas sacaron niños con vida de uno de los inmuebles.

La escuela Plaza Towers fue totalmente destruida, mientras que la Briarwood Elementary sufrió graves daños.

El tornado, que tenía más de 2 millas de ancho, 19 de largo y cuya intensidad era al menos tres veces la del último tornado que atacó el estado de Oklahoma en 1999. En aquella ocasión se habían medido los vientos más rápidos de la historia.

La cadena CNN, reportando desde el lugar de Shawnee, Oklahoma, informó que el tornado “arancó los techos de los edificios, nivelando casas y dejando una masiva banda de destrucción en su camino”.

No se sabe el número final de víctimas , pero los sobrevivientes emergían de sus refugios para encontrar una visión apocalíptica.
Los rescatistas siguen buscando víctimas entre los estudiantes de la escuela, en donde se hallaban en momento del desastre 75 personas, incluyendo docentes.

Un cálculo preliminar de la magnitud del fenómeno meteorológico arrojó que soplaba con vientos de entre 166 y 200 millas por hora, lo que corresponde a la categoría EF4 de 5 posibles.


(Sigue la información después de esta gráfica)

El siguiente mapa muestra los lugares más dañados por el fenómeno y también los sitios donde se puede hallar ayuda.


Todos los heridos eran transportados en estos momentos a los hospitales Norman Regional y Health Plex. La carretera Interstate 35 en la localidad de Moore estaba cerrada porque el detritus arrojado por el viento hacía imposible la circulación, dijo un portavoz del departamento de Transporte de Oklahoma, quien agregó que en estos momentos había varios equipos de rescate ocupados en tratar de limpiar y reabrir la arteria vehicular.

“Hay gente atrapada y va a haber destrucción durante días”, dijo una portavoz de la Patrulla de Caminos de Oklahoma, quien dijo no saber cuántas personas se hallaban atrapadas.

Ya avanzada la tarde, la cadena de AP en español publicó lo siguiente:

Un monstruoso tornado de 1,6 kilómetros (una milla) de ancho con vientos de hasta 320 kph (200 mph) dejó al menos 37 muertos al cruzar el lunes los suburbios de Oklahoma City, dejando en ruinas vecindarios enteros y dando un golpe directo a una escuela primaria.

La portavoz de la oficina del médico legista del estado Amy Elliot dijo que es previsible que la cifra de víctimas aumente.

Elliot desconocía cuántos de los fallecidos eran niños. Empleados en dos hospitales indicaron que están atendiendo a por lo menos 60 personas, incluyendo más de una decena de niños. Al menos 10 personas están en condición crítica.

La inusual ferocidad de la tormenta —menos de 1% de los tornados alcanzan esta velocidad en sus vientos— destruyó decenas de inmuebles en Moore, al sur de la ciudad. Calle tras calle de la comunidad estaba en ruinas, con montones de escombros acumulados donde antes había viviendas. Había automóviles y camiones abollados en el camino.

El Servicio Meteorológico Nacional emitió un comunicado donde indicó que el tornado fue de categoría EF-4 en la escala Fujita, el segundo tipo de tornado más poderoso.

En un video de la tormenta, se puede ver el oscuro embudo de nubes avanzando lentamente por el verde paisaje. Mientras el remolino recorre la comunidad, dispersa por todas las calles trozos de madera, material aislante, toldos, tejas y cristales.

Voluntarios y socorristas se apresuraron a peinar los escombros y fierros retorcidos en busca de sobrevivientes.

En la escuela primaria Plaza Towers, la tormenta arrancó el techo, derribó paredes y convirtió el jardín de juegos en una masa de plástico y metal retorcido.

Varios niños fueron rescatados con vida de entre los escombros.

James Rushing, quien vive frente a la escuela, escuchó las noticias de un tornado aproximándose y corrió al colegio, donde estaba su hijo de 5 años, Aiden. Rushing creyó que estaría más seguro ahí.

"Unos dos minutos después llegué ahí y la escuela comenzó a desbaratarse", relató.

Los estudiantes se refugiaron en el cuarto de sanitarios.

Imágenes de televisión mostraron hogares y edificios reducidos a escombros en Moore. Las imágenes también mostraron vehículos bloqueando carreteras en el sur y suroeste de la capital del estado.

El capitán de la policía de Oklahoma City Dexter Nelson indicó que el tendido eléctrico derribado y gasoductos abiertos representaban una amenaza tras el paso del tornado.

El mismo suburbio of Moore fue afectado por un violento tornado del 3 de mayo de 1999. Esa tormenta trajo consigo el viento más fuerte que se haya registrado en la superficie del planeta en toda la historia: 486 kph (302 mph).

Instrucciones para protegerse del tornado

El Servicio Meteorológico Nacional tiene una página de información constantemente actualizada en internet, en conjunción con Alertas Públicas de Google, en la que da las instrucciones para protegerse.

Antes del tornado:

  • Construya un equipo de emergencia y haga un plan de comunicación de su familia.

  • Esté alerta a condiciones de clima fluctuantes y busque tormentas que se estén acercando.

  • Estas son las señales de peligro:

  • Cielo oscuro y a menudo verdoso

  • Granizo pesado.

  • Una nube grande y baja, particularmente si está rotando.

  • Un sonido de rugido, parecido al de un tren en movimiento.

  • Si ve señales de peligro busque un refugio inmediatamente.

Durante el tornado

  • Si se halla bajo alerta de tornado, busque un refugio. La mayor parte de las heridas son causada por escombros voladores. Recuerde proteger su cabeza.

  • Si está en una estructura, vaya a un refugio predesignado tal como una habitación segura, el sótano o el nivel más bajo del edificio, y en su ausencia al centro de una habitación interior, LEJOS de esquinas, ventanas, puertas y muros exteriores.

  • Si se encuentra a la intemperie sin refugio, inmediatamente entre a un vehículo, abroche el cinturón y trate de manejar al refugio más cercano. No pase por un puente ni por un túnel. Lo más seguro es un lugar bajo y liso. Cuidado con los escombros voladores.


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  • Moore Residents Begin Painful Recovery From Massive Tornado Strike

    MOORE, OK - MAY 24: Larry Cory displays an American flag outside the funeral for nine-year-old tornado victim Nicholas McCabe on May 24, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. A two-mile wide EF5 tornado touched down in Moore May 20 killing at least 24 people and leaving behind extensive damage to homes and businesses. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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    Carol Kawaykla stands in the rubbles of her tornado devastated home in Moore, Oklahoma, on May 24, 2013. The tornado, one of the most powerful in recent years, killed 24 people, injured 377, damaged or destroyed 1,200 homes and affected an estimated 33,000 people in this Oklahoma City suburb, officials said in their latest update. Initial damages have been estimated at around $2 billion. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Moore Residents Continue Painful Recovery From Massive Tornado Strike

    MOORE, OK - MAY 24: Sabrina Mitchell recovers a stuffed doll as she searches for belongings in what was the second floor bedroom of her home which was destroyed by a tornado on May 24, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. A two-mile wide EF5 tornado touched down in Moore May 20 killing at least 24 people and leaving behind extensive damage to homes and businesses. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • US-WEATHER-TORNADO

    Lightning strikes during a thunder storm as tornado survivors search for salvagable stuffs at their devastated home on May 23, 2013, in Moore, Oklahoma. Severe thunderstorms barreled through this Oklahoma City suburb at dawn Thursday, complicating clean-up efforts three days after a powerful tornado killed 24 people and destroyed 2,400 homes. More rain was forecast to fall on Moore, soaking the disaster zone where residents had just the day before, under clear blue skies, started picking through the rubble of their destroyed houses to recover personal effects. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Claudia Clark clears tornado debris from a cemetery Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in Moore, Okla. Cleanup continues two days after a huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb, flattening a wide swath of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • US-WEATHER-TORNADO

    A tornado-devastated neighborhood is seen during a thunder storm on May 23, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. Severe thunderstorms barreled through this Oklahoma City suburb at dawn Thursday, complicating clean-up efforts three days after a powerful tornado killed 24 people and destroyed 2,400 homes. More rain was forecast to fall on Moore, soaking the disaster zone where residents had just the day before, under clear blue skies, started picking through the rubble of their destroyed houses to recover personal effects. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-WEATHER-TORNADO

    A cross stands over a destroyed home as the sun rises on May 23, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. A powerful tornado classified as an EF4 passed through the town May 20, destroying homes, schools and businesses and killing 24 people including children. The epic twister, two miles (three kilometers) across, flattened block after block of homes as it struck mid-afternoon Monday, hurling cars through the air, downing power lines and setting off localized fires in a 45-minute rampage. AFP PHOTO/Joshua LOTT (Photo credit should read Joshua LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Powerful Tornado Rips Through Moore, Oklahoma

    MOORE, OK - MAY 22: Linda Deason collects a picture of her daughter Tracy Stephan, and granddaughter, Abigail Stephan (2 mos. in photo) from her tornado destroyed home on May 22, 2013 in Moore, Ok. (Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

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    An unidentified woman looks over the scene as residents sort through their tornado-ravaged homes Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in Moore, Okla. Cleanup continues two days after a huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb, flattening a wide swath of homes and businesses. (Charlie Riedel / AP)

  • Oklahoma City Thunder NBA basketball player Kevin Durant walks past tornado-damaged homes in a neighborhood in Moore, Okla., Wednesday, May 22, 2013. Durant donated $1 million to the American Red Cross for relief efforts. The Thunder matched the $1 million donation. At left is one of his friends, Randy Williams. (Sue Ogrocki / AP)

  • Christine Jones (L) is comforted by her daughter Ashley as they stand in front of Christine's home which was destroyed when a tornado ripped through the area on May 22, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. The tornado of at least EF4 strength and two miles wide touched down May 20 killing at least 24 people and leaving behind extensive damage to homes and businesses. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Scott Olson / Getty Images)

  • Casey Angle, a student at Plaza Towers Elementary School poses for a portrait outside her destroyed home as she holds a family photo that includes her sister Sydney Angle, second from left, on May 22, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. Casey's sister Sydney Angle was killed when a powerful tornado classified as an EF4 destroyed Plaza Towers Elementary School, which also ripped through the town Monday destroying homes, schools and businesses, killing several people including children. (Joshua Lott / AFP / Getty Images)

  • Don Jackson shows his wife's wedding ring after he found it in the rubble of his home that was destroyed by a tornado that ripped through the area on May 22, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. The tornado of at least EF4 strength and two miles wide touched down May 20 killing at least 24 people and leaving behind extensive damage to homes and businesses. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Scott Olson / Getty Images)

  • A Dallas Cowboys doll sits on top of a car in the rubble of the tornado May 22, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. The two-mile-wide Category 5 tornado touched down May 20 killing at least 24 people and leaving behind extensive damage to homes and businesses. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Brett Deering / Getty Images)

  • Brittany Brown rushes to get aid after finding her grandmother's cat "Kitty" which was buried in tornado rubble for two days at the grandmother's destroyed home Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in Moore, Okla. Cleanup continues two days after a huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb, flattening a wide swath of homes and businesses. (Charlie Riedel / AP)

  • Nick Balen holds his daughter Kinley while visiting the destroyed doctor's office where his wife worked and survived Monday's tornado, along with 13 other people, Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in Moore, Okla. Cleanup continues two days after a huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb, flattening a wide swath of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Marvin Dixon, the grandfather of 8-year-old tornado victim Kyle Davis, glances down at a photo of his grandson while sitting for a portrait in the lobby of a funeral home where his grandson awaits burial, in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, May 22, 2013. Nicknamed "The Wall," Davis loved soccer and going to the Monster Truck exhibitions at the fairgrounds with his grandfather. Kyle was killed Monday, May 20, 2013, when a huge tornado roared through Moore, Okla., flattening entire neighborhoods and destroying his elementary school with a direct blow as children and teachers huddled against winds up to 200 mph. (Brennan Linsley / AP)

  • Downed power lines are shown in the backyard of Leslie Paul's home as she is helped by friends recover items Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in Moore, Oklahoma. (Tony Gutierrez / AP)

  • James Pitts uses a sledge hammer to try to force open a friend's trunk in a tornado-ravaged car as residents sort through their tornado-ravaged homes Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in Moore, Okla. Cleanup continues two days after a huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb, flattening a wide swath of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Rick Brown puts on a pair of boots after finding them in his tornado-ravaged home Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in Moore, Okla. Cleanup continues two days after a huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb, flattening a wide swath of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Susan Kates salvages items from a friend's tornado-ravaged home Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in Moore, Okla. Cleanup continues two days after a huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb, flattening a wide swath of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Chad Allcox, left, helps his friend Kevin McElvany, right, the home owner, clear debris away from his destroyed home from Monday's tornado Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in Moore, Oklahoma. (Tony Gutierrez / AP)

  • US-WEATHER-TORNADO

    Road signs and other debris left by the May 20 tornado are seen on May 22, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. As rescue efforts in Oklahoma wound down, residents turned to the daunting task of rebuilding a US heartland community shattered by a vast tornado that killed at least 24 people. The epic twister, two miles (three kilometers) across, flattened block after block of homes as it struck mid-afternoon on May 20, hurling cars through the air, downing power lines and setting off localized fires in a 45-minute rampage. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Massive Tornado Causes Large Swath Of Destruction In Suburban Moore, Oklahoma

    MOORE, OK - MAY 22: Eric Lowery looks over damage to his mother's vehicle after it was blown from her workplace and came to rest on debris of a collapsed building nearby after a tornado ripped through the area on May 21, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. The tornado of at least EF5 strength and two miles wide touched down May 20 killing at least 24 people and leaving behind extensive damage to homes and businesses. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • US-WEATHER-TORNADO

    A man pulling a child's wagon returns to his tornado devastated home on May 22, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. As rescue efforts in Oklahoma wound down, residents turned to the daunting task of rebuilding a US heartland community shattered by a vast tornado that killed at least 24 people. The epic twister, two miles (three kilometers) across, flattened block after block of homes as it struck mid-afternoon on May 20, hurling cars through the air, downing power lines and setting off localized fires in a 45-minute rampage. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Massive Tornado Causes Large Swath Of Destruction In Suburban Moore, Oklahoma

    MOORE, OK - MAY 22: Workers remove a damaged neon letter from the marquee in front of the Warren Theater after a tornado ripped through the area on May 21, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. The tornado of at least EF5 strength and two miles wide touched down May 20 killing at least 24 people and leaving behind extensive damage to homes and businesses. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • At sunrise, police patrol a partially-destroyed row of houses adjacent to a group of homes completely leveled on Monday when a tornado moved through Moore, Okla., Wednesday, May 22, 2013. The huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb, flattening a wide swath of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

  • A brick mailbox lies flattened in front of what used to be Dan and Rebecca Garland's home in Moore, Okla., on Tuesday, May 21, 2013. Nearly a dozen neighbors and relatives took refuge in the family's storm shelter during Monday's deadly EF5 tornado. (AP Photo/Allen Breed)

  • Massive Tornado Causes Large Swath Of Destruction In Suburban Moore, Oklahoma

    MOORE, OK - MAY 21: An aerial view of the Moore Medical Center destroyed after a powerful tornado ripped through the area on May 21, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. The town reported a tornado of at least EF4 strength and two miles wide that touched down yesterday killing at least 24 people and leveling everything in its path. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Photo by Benjamin Krain/Getty Images)

  • This Tuesday, May 21, 2013 aerial photo shows, from bottom to top, the path Monday's tornado took through Moore, Okla. The huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods and destroying an elementary school with a direct blow as children and teachers huddled against winds. (AP Photo/Kim Johnson Flodin)

  • A home in Moore, Okla. sits severely damaged Tuesday, May 21, 2013, after Monday's massive tornado moved through the area. The huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods and destroying an elementary school with a direct blow as children and teachers huddled against winds. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

  • CORRECTS NAME OF SCHOOL TO PLAZA TOWERS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - An aerial view of Plaza Towers Elementary School that was damaged in Monday's tornado Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Moore, Oklahoma. A huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb Monday, flattening an entire neighborhoods and destroying an elementary school with a direct blow as children and teachers huddled against winds. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • A man who asked not to be identified hangs an American flag on what is left of a tree in a neighborhood north of SW 149th between Western and Santa Fe on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, after a tornado struck south Oklahoma City and Moore, Okla., on Monday. (AP Photo/The Oklahoman, Nate Billing)

  • Massive Tornado Causes Large Swath Of Destruction In Suburban Moore, Oklahoma

    MOORE, OK - MAY 21: An aerial view of destroyed houses and buildings after a powerful tornado ripped through the area on May 21, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. The town reported a tornado of at least EF4 strength and two miles wide that touched down yesterday killing at least 24 people and leveling everything in its path. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Photo by Benjamin Krain/Getty Images)

  • Massive Tornado Causes Large Swath Of Destruction In Suburban Moore, Oklahoma

    MOORE, OK - MAY 21: An aerial view of the destroyed Plaza Tower elementary school after a powerful tornado ripped through the area on May 21, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. The town reported a tornado of at least EF4 strength and two miles wide that touched down yesterday killing at least 24 people and leveling everything in its path. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Photo by Benjamin Krain/Getty Images)

  • Massive Tornado Causes Large Swath Of Destruction In Suburban Moore, Oklahoma

    MOORE, OK - MAY 21: An aerial view of destroyed houses and buildings after a powerful tornado ripped through the area on May 21, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. The town reported a tornado of at least EF4 strength and two miles wide that touched down yesterday killing at least 24 people and leveling everything in its path. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Photo by Benjamin Krain/Getty Images)

  • Massive Tornado Causes Large Swath Of Destruction In Suburban Moore, Oklahoma

    MOORE, OK - MAY 21: An aerial view of destroyed houses after a powerful tornado ripped through the area on May 21, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. The town reported a tornado of at least EF4 strength and two miles wide that touched down yesterday killing at least 24 people and leveling everything in its path. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Photo by Benjamin Krain/Getty Images)

  • Massive Tornado Causes Large Swath Of Destruction In Suburban Moore, Oklahoma

    MOORE, OK - MAY 21: An aerial view of destroyed houses and buildings after a powerful tornado ripped through the area on May 21, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. The town reported a tornado of at least EF4 strength and two miles wide that touched down yesterday killing at least 24 people and leveling everything in its path. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Photo by Benjamin Krain/Getty Images)

  • US-WEATHER-TORNADO

    Men walk at their backyard of their tornado devastated neighbourhood on May 21, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. Families returned to a blasted moonscape that had been an American suburb Tuesday after a monstrous tornado tore through the outskirts of Oklahoma City, killing at least 24 people. Nine children were among the dead and entire neighborhoods vanished, with often the foundations being the only thing left of what used to be houses and cars tossed like toys and heaped in big piles. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-WEATHER-TORNADO

    A woman salvages memorable from her tornado devastated home on May 21, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. Families returned to a blasted moonscape that had been an American suburb Tuesday after a monstrous tornado tore through the outskirts of Oklahoma City, killing at least 24 people. Nine children were among the dead and entire neighborhoods vanished, with often the foundations being the only thing left of what used to be houses and cars tossed like toys and heaped in big piles. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Massive Tornado Causes Large Swath Of Destruction In Suburban Moore, Oklahoma

    MOORE, OK - MAY 21: Amber Johnson (R) a fifth grade teacher at Briarwood Elementary School salvages items from her which was parked at the school when a powerful tornado ripped through the area on May 21, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. Johnson is being helped by her daughters Natalie (L) and Nicole. The town reported a tornado of at least EF4 strength and two miles wide that touched down yesterday killing at least 24 people and leveling everything in its path. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • Massive Tornado Causes Large Swath Of Destruction In Suburban Moore, Oklahoma

    MOORE, OK - MAY 21: Chris Combs and her husband Jimmy look over damge at Briarwood Elementary School after a powerful tornado ripped through the area on May 21, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. Chris is a secretary at the school and was inside the school office when the tornado hit. The town reported a tornado of at least EF4 strength and two miles wide that touched down yesterday killing at least 24 people and leveling everything in its path. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • Massive Tornado Causes Large Swath Of Destruction In Suburban Moore, Oklahoma

    MOORE, OK - MAY 21: Macie Thompson looks over damage at Briarwood Elementary School after a powerful tornado ripped through the area on May 21, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. The town reported a tornado of at least EF4 strength and two miles wide that touched down yesterday killing at least 24 people and leveling everything in its path. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • Massive Tornado Causes Large Swath Of Destruction In Suburban Moore, Oklahoma

    MOORE, OK - MAY 21: A pickup truck is wrapped around a tree after a powerful tornado ripped through the neighborhood on May 21, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. The town reported a tornado of at least EF4 strength and two miles wide that touched down yesterday killing at least 24 people and leveling everything in its path. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • Massive Tornado Causes Large Swath Of Destruction In Suburban Moore, Oklahoma

    MOORE, OK - MAY 21: An aerial view of destroyed houses and buildings after a powerful tornado ripped through the area on May 21, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. The town reported a tornado of at least EF4 strength and two miles wide that touched down yesterday killing at least 24 people and leveling everything in its path. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Photo by Benjamin Krain/Getty Images)

  • Massive Tornado Causes Large Swath Of Destruction In Suburban Moore, Oklahoma

    MOORE, OK - MAY 21: An aerial view of destroyed houses and buildings after a powerful tornado ripped through the area on May 21, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. The town reported a tornado of at least EF4 strength and two miles wide that touched down yesterday killing at least 24 people and leveling everything in its path. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Photo by Benjamin Krain/Getty Images)

  • Massive Tornado Causes Large Swath Of Destruction In Suburban Moore, Oklahoma

    MOORE, OK - MAY 21: An aerial view of a destroyed house after a powerful tornado ripped through the area on May 21, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. The town reported a tornado of at least EF4 strength and two miles wide that touched down yesterday killing at least 24 people and leveling everything in its path. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Photo by Benjamin Krain/Getty Images)

  • Massive Tornado Causes Large Swath Of Destruction In Suburban Moore, Oklahoma

    MOORE, OK - MAY 21: An aerial view of destroyed houses and buildings after a powerful tornado ripped through the area on May 21, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. The town reported a tornado of at least EF4 strength and two miles wide that touched down yesterday killing at least 24 people and leveling everything in its path. U.S. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Photo by Benjamin Krain/Getty Images)

  • A man salvages stuff from what left of a bedroom of his tornado devastated home on May 21, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. Families returned to a blasted moonscape that had been an American suburb Tuesday after a monstrous tornado tore through the outskirts of Oklahoma City, killing at least 24 people. Nine children were among the dead and entire neighborhoods vanished, with often the foundations being the only thing left of what used to be houses and cars tossed like toys and heaped in big piles. (Jewel Samad / AFP / Getty Images)

  • Heath Thayer, left, and his brother Derek Thayer look at Derek's tornado-ravaged pickup truck which was thrown across the street from where it was parked Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Moore, Okla. A huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods and destroying an elementary school with a direct blow as children and teachers huddled against winds. (Charlie Riedel / AP)

  • Zac Woodcock salvages items from the rubble of a tornado-ravaged rental home which they own Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Moore, Okla. A huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb Monday, flattening an entire neighborhoods and destroying an elementary school with a direct blow as children and teachers huddled against winds. (Charlie Riedel / AP)