Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Deadly Day in Moore, Oklahoma

 photo moore-tornado.jpg

My prayers go out to the families of Oklahoma City after the deadly F-5 tornado passed through the suburb of Moore yesterday. When they announced on MSNBC last night that a "couple dozen" third graders were found dead in Plaza Towers Elementary, I just lost it - broke down and wept. Why did that have to happen? Why those innocent children? Why those families? Didn't they suffer enough by losing their homes, their school, their community? There are no answers.

The death toll continues to rise, and we still don't know exactly how many people are missing or have perhaps sought shelter in a place where there's no phone lines, electricity or cleared roads. It's going to take days to asses the million small tragedies of this storm, and years to understand how more lives might have been saved. Right now we can just use the trite term "Act of God" and pray that the living can continue to cope with the disaster, the stuff of nightmares.

Huffington Post
The Oklahoma state medical examiner's office said 24 bodies had been recovered from the wreckage of Monday's storm, down from the 51 they had reported earlier. The earlier number likely reflected some double-counted deaths, said Amy Elliott, chief administrative officer for the medical examiner.

The 2-mile (3-km) wide tornado tore through Moore outside Oklahoma City on Monday afternoon, trapping victims beneath the rubble. One elementary school took a direct hit and another was destroyed.

Thunderstorms and lightning slowed the rescue effort on Tuesday, but officials lowered the number of bodies recovered.

"We have got good news. The number right now is 24," Elliot said. "There was a lot of chaos."
She said additional bodies could yet be recovered.

Firefighters from more than a dozen fire departments worked all night under bright spotlights trying to find survivors at Plaza Towers Elementary School, which took a direct hit. Rescuers were sent from other states to join the search.

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