Tornado Aftermath: 24 Dead In Moore, Oklahoma

MOORE, Okla. (WHNT & CNN) — Two dozen people were killed when a massive tornado struck an area outside Oklahoma City on Monday afternoon, officials said.

Damage assessments show that the tornado that struck central Oklahoma on Monday was an EF5 — meaning it had winds of 200 mph or greater, according to the National Weather Service.

The medical examiner gave an update Tuesday morning, saying 24 people died.  Nine of those were children — seven died in a school and two children died elsewhere.

Earlier news reports had put the death toll much higher. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin offered clarification Tuesday, saying some of the dead were taken to the medical examiner’s office and others were taken straight to funeral homes.  Officials also said in some case, people who died were counted twice.

Two schools were hit in Moore Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City.  Emergency personnel have been digging through rubble in numerous areas working to find survivors.  They pulled out several people alive Monday night and more early Tuesday morning in the overnight hours.

More than 40,000 customers are without power.
The tornado was estimated to be at least two miles wide at one point as it moved through Moore, in the southern part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, KFOR reported.The preliminary rating of the tornado was at least EF4 (166 to 200 mph), the National Weather Service said.
President Barack Obama has declared Oklahoma a disaster area to speed up federal aid.  “Oklahoma needs to get everything it needs right away,” President Obama said.

WHNT’s sister station, KFOR-TV, continues to stream live coverage the tornado’s aftermath.

We’ll continue to update WHNT.com with new details.

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