Monday, May 23, 2011

Death toll from US tornado rises to 116

Death toll from US tornado rises to 116
US midwest states are braced for more storms after a tornado in Missouri killed 116 people, putting it on course to be the deadliest single twister to strike the United States in modern history.

Forecasters warned more potent storms were on the way in the area around Joplin, Missouri where the massive twister struck on Sunday leading to 116 deaths, matching the deadliest tornado in modern US records.

"We are currently forecasting a major severe weather outbreak for Tuesday over the central United States with strong tornadoes likely over Oklahoma, Kansas, extreme northern Texas, southwest Missouri," said Russell Schneider, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Prediction Center.

Officials warned the death toll in Missouri was sure to rise after Sunday's massive twister cut a swath of destruction 6.4 kilometres long and more than a kilometre wide.

"There are going to be some things out there that are going to be hard to see and stomach," Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said.

"We remain positive and optimistic that there are lives out there to be saved.

"We're going to go through every foot of this town and make sure that every person is accounted for."

Officials said the last single twister to wreak such loss of life occurred on June 8, 1953 when 116 people were killed in Flint, Michigan.

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