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May 22, 2013

Tornadoes wreak havoc in US

Tornadoes can form anytime of year, but occur most frequently in April, May, and June, due to favorable weather conditions. Earlier this week a massive 200-mile-per-hour EF5 tornado hit Moore, Okla., killing some two dozen people, damaging thousands of structures, and causing an estimated $2 billion in damage. This year, twisters have already touched down in Kansas, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, and Alabama. ( 46 photos total)

A woman carries a child through a field near the collapsed Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., on May 20. A tornado as much as half a mile wide with winds up to 200 mph roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. (Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press)

A tornado passes across south Oklahoma City, on May 20. (Paul Hellstern/The Oklahoman via Associated Press) #

This image released by the Nasa on May 21and acquired on May 20 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA«ÉŔs Aqua satellite shows the storm system at 2:40 p.m. Central Daylight Time (19:40 Universal Time), just minutes before the devastating twister began. According to National Weather Service and media reports, the mile-wide tornado had a preliminary damage rating of EF-4, with winds reaching 190 miles per hour. It had a relatively slow forward speed for such a violent storm«É”about 20«ÉŌ25 miles per hour«É”likely exacerbating the damage. Debris from the tornado fell as far as 100 miles (160 kilometers) away, reaching the city of Tulsa. The massive tornado that cut a wide and deadly swath through a suburban Oklahoma City town, killing 24 people, was a top category EF5 system with winds over 200 mph (321 kmh). (NASA) #

A child is pulled from the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., and passed along to rescuers on May 20. A tornado as much as a mile (1.6 kilometers) wide with winds up to 200 mph (320 kph) roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. (Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press) #

This aerial photo shows the remains of homes hit by a massive tornado in Moore, Okla., on May 20. (Steve Gooch/Associated Press) #

A woman is pulled out from under tornado debris at the Plaza Towers School in Moore, Okla., on May 20. (Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press) #

Victor Gonzalez seeks shelter from the rain under a sheet of plastic as he helps a friend salvage items from a tornado-ravaged home on May 21 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/Associated Press) #

Two men attempt to pry open a door on this car to check for victims in a business parking lot west of I-35 south of 4th Street in Moore, on May 20. (Jim Beckel/The Oklahoman via Associated Press) #

A child is carried away from Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City, on May 20. A monstrous tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs, flattening entire neighborhoods with winds up to 200 mph, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. (Paul Hellstern/The Oklahoman via Associated Press) #

A fire burns in the Tower Plaza Addition in Moore, Okla., following a tornado on May 20. (Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press) #

Cindy Wilson texts to friendson May 20 after her home was destroyed by a massive tornado that ripped through Moore, Okla., in the afternoon. Wilson and her husband, Staff Sgt. B. Wilson, took cover in their bathtub when the tornado hit. Cindy received a deep gash to her forehead and her wound was treated by first responders at the scene. (Jim Beckel/The Oklahoman via Associated Press) #

People look for belongings after a tornado struck Moore, Okla., on May 20. (Gene Blevins/Reuters) #

Grayson Hatfield crawls out of a closet underneath a stairwell at his sister's home along Kings Manor in Moore, Okla., on May 21. A massive tornado swept through the south Oklahoma City suburb Monday afternoon. (Brad Loper/The Dallas Morning News via Associated Press) #

June Simson, right, receives a hug from her neighbor Jo McGee while embracing her cat Sammi after she found him standing on the rubble of her destroyed home on May 21 in Moore, Okla. 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. 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. (Joshua Lott/AFP/Getty Images) #

This aerial photo shows a home demolished home by Monday's tornado, in Moore, Okla., on May 21. 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. (Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press) #

The owner of the building, Bernadette Prichard, looks over the damage to a preschool for the first time on May 21 from the tornado that hit Moore, Okla. (Katherine Taylor for The New York Times) #

Oklahoma City firefighters check on the status of Gene Tripp as he sits in his rocking chair where his home once stood after being destroyed by a tornado that hit the area on May 20 in Oklahoma City, Okla. (Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman via Associated Press) #

Two men stand in front of Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., after a tornado destroyed the school on May 20. (Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman, via Associated Press) #

Ryan Saum removes belongings from his car that was thrown onto Briarwood Elementary School by yesterday's tornado on May 21 in Moore, Okla. 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. President Barack Obama promised federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. (Brett Deering/Getty Images) #

A photo sat amongst the rubble a day after the tornado hit Moore, Okla., on May 20. (Katherine Taylor for The New York Times) #

As his wife Cassidi looks over at him, Chad Heltcel, center, hands a newly-recovered antique doll cherished by his mother to Jimmy Hodges, as the Heltcel, family and friends salvaged the wreckage of their home which was destroyed Monday when a tornado moved through Moore, Okla., on May 21. (Brennan Linsley/Associated Press) #

Amber Ford, a teaching assistant, goes through the rubble of a second grade classroom she works in at the Briarwood Elementary School in Oklahoma City, Okla., on May 21. (Michael Wyke/Tulsa World, via Associated Press) #

Two frightened and apparently lost dogs sit on a coffee table top in a destroyed neighborhood in Moore, Okla., on May 21. The town was hit by a tornado on May 20 killing 24 people including seven children in one school. (Tannen Maury/European Pressphoto Agency) #

Volunteers from Mercy Chefs distribute hot food to tornado victims at their devastated neighborhood on May 21 in Moore, Okla. Families returned to a blasted moonscape that had been an American suburb Tuesday after a monstrous tornado tore through the outskirts of Oklahoma City. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images) #

A woman searches for possessions at sunset on May 21 after the suburb of Moore, Okla., was left devastated by a tornado the day before. Rescuers went building to building in search of victims and survivors picked through the rubble of their shattered homes on Tuesday, a day after a massive tornado tore through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, wiping out blocks of houses and killing 24 people. (Adrees Latif/Reuters) #

US Soldiers and Airmen with the Oklahoma Army National Guard and the Oklahoma Air National Guard along with firefighters participate in recovery efforts after a tornado moved through on May 20 in Moore, Okla. The town reported a tornado to be at least EF4 strength and two miles wide that touched down Monday leveling everything in its path. (Sgt. 1st Class Kendall James/US Department of Defense via Getty Images) #

As dawn breaks, storm clouds roll in over a destroyed neighborhood the day after a tornado hit in Moore, Okla. President Barack Obama declared the area a major disaster in Oklahoma. (Ed Zurga/European Pressphoto Agency) #

Derick Brock from Mercy Chefs, right, helps a man to fold a US flag he found in the debris of a tornado devastated house on May 21 in Moore, Okla. 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. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images) #

Susan Kates salvages items from a friend's tornado-ravaged home on May 22, 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/Associated Press) #

Charles Taber opens the two-week old storm shelter that saved his life in the May 20 tornado in Oklahoma City, Okla., on May 22. Rescue workers with sniffer dogs picked through the ruins on Wednesday to ensure no survivors remained buried after a deadly tornado left thousands homeless and trying to salvage what was left of their belongings. Taber was one of the nine people who rode out the storm in the shelter. (Rick Wilking/Reuters) #

The funnel of a tornadic thunderstorm almost touches the ground near South Haven, Kan., on May 19. A massive storm front swept north through the central United States on Sunday, hammering the region with fist-sized hail, blinding rain and tornadoes, including a half-mile wide twister that struck near Oklahoma City. (Gene Blevins/Reuters) #

A door from a house is pierced by a tree limb in the destroyed Rancho Brazos neighborhood os Granbury, Texas, on May 16. A rash of tornadoes slammed into several small communities in North Texas overnight, leaving at least six people dead, dozens more injured and hundreds homeless. (Paul Moseley/Star-Telegram via Associated Press) #

A tornado caused extensive damage along Interstate 40 at the junction with US 177 on the west side of Shawnee, Okla., on May 19. (im Beckel/The Oklahoman via Associated Press) #

A cleared home foundation stands out among the rubble in Granbury, Texas on May 16. Ten tornadoes touched down in several small communities in North Texas overnight, leaving at least six people dead, dozens injured and hundreds homeless. (Ron T. Ennis/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram via Associated Press) #

A toppled car and crushed trees lay next to the slab of a house swept off its foundation in the destroyed Rancho Brazos neighborhood of Granbury, Texas, on May 16. (Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram via Associated Press) #

Intact homes (upper left) stand next to totally destroyed dwellings showing the path of the May 20 tornado in Oklahoma City, Okla., on May 22. Rescue workers with sniffer dogs picked through the ruins on Wednesday to ensure no survivors remained buried after a deadly tornado left thousands homeless and trying to salvage what was left of their belongings. Curvature of horizon in the photo is due to an ultra-wide angle lens. (Rick Wilking/Reuters) #

Police stand beside two men sitting handcuffed on the street whom they have detained on suspicion of looting in Moore, Okla., on May 21. (Rick Wilking/Reuters) #

Volunteers form a chain as they retrieve clothing and other household items at a home destroyed by a tornado, across the street from the Plaza Towers elementary school in Moore, Okla., on May 22. The massive tornado on Monday afternoon flattened entire blocks of the town, killed at least 24 people and injured about 240 in Moore. (Rick Wilking/Reuters) #

Sarah Dick reads a Doctor Suess book to her three-year-old daughter Jadyn at the driveway of her tornado-destroyed house in Oklahoma City, Okla., on May 22. Rescue workers with sniffer dogs picked through the ruins on Wednesday to ensure no survivors remained buried after a deadly tornado left thousands homeless and trying to salvage what was left of their belongings. (Rick Wilking/Reuters) #

A volunteer arranges clothings for tornado victims at a roadside relief camp on May 22 in Moore, Okla. 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. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images) #

Macie Thompson looks over damage at Briarwood Elementary School on May 21 after a powerful tornado ripped through the area the day before in Moore, Okla. 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. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #

Matt Johnson salvages items on May 21 from his grandparent's home after a powerful tornado ripped through the neighborhood the day before. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #

Charles Stemm cleans off the face of his mother's gravestone at the Moore Cemetery on May 22. 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. (Brett Deering/Getty Images) #

A bathroom is all that remains standing in a tornado-destroyed home in Moore, Okla. (Rick Wilking/Reuters) #

Charles Maloney tries to salvage papers from his tornado-destroyed home on Heather Lane in Moore, Okla. (Rick Wilking/Reuters) #

Danielle Stephan holds boyfriend Thomas Layton as they pause between salvaging through the remains of a family member's home one day after a tornado devastated the town Moore, Okla., in the outskirts of Oklahoma City on May 21. Rescuers went building to building in search of victims and thousands of survivors were homeless on Tuesday after a massive tornado tore through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, wiping out whole blocks of homes and killing at least 24 people.(Adrees Latif/Reuters) #



 
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