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Monster Tornado Hits Oklahoma
Schools hit as Moore is flattened
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2013 4:14 PM CDT
Updated May 20, 2013 7:17 PM CDT
A child is pulled from the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma.   (AP Photo Sue Ogrocki)

(Newser) – A two-mile-wide tornado touched down near Oklahoma City today, leveling the suburb of Moore and leaving at least 24 confirmed dead so far, reports ABC News. (The initial figure of 51 was officially revised downward later.) "It is absolutely devastating, this is horrific," Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb said. "We're going to have fatalities. ... We're going to have significant injuries. ... We just don't know what those numbers are. Schools have been hit, a hospital has been hit, businesses have been flattened, neighborhoods have been wiped away—we don't have the numbers in yet but it is going to be significant and it is going to be horrific."

Seventy-five students were sheltered in one local elementary school, clinging to the walls as the tornado passed over, KFOR reports. Another elementary school received a "direct hit," reports ABC. "Cinderblocks and everything collapsed on them but they were underneath so that kind of saved them a little bit, but I mean they were trapped in there," said one boy, who sheltered in a bathroom. The National Weather Service says the tornado rating was at least EF4, which means winds of 166 to 200 miles per hour. Click for more.

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May 21, 2013 2:28 PM CDT
We watched this from the UK as these events unfolded on the news and the twitter feeds. For everyone of you who have lost family, pets, homes and so much more, not a moment passes that you are not in our thoughts and hearts.
May 21, 2013 4:01 AM CDT
Pat Robertson hates Oklahoma.
May 21, 2013 3:22 AM CDT
Have you ever seen the story about someone that kept waking from a nightmare, only to realize the nightmare was still occurring, and wake again, to realize that it's still there, over and over? Well thousands are having that nightmare right now, and it's not going to go away. Be thankful if you are in your home safe, and your children are in their beds asleep, and your pets are asleep at the end of your bed. I will never take for granted waking up in my bed safe and comfortable ever again. I have never felt so fortunate to be missed by a tornado, I've lived through 5 that have been as close as 1 block from my home. It's amazing how things that were important yesterday, don't seem to have the same impact on life today. All my fellow unfortunate Oklahomans, our hearts are breaking for you, we are thinking of you.