Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/21/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Death toll revised down to 24.

Pope Francis took to Twitter on Tuesday to send his sympathies to the victims of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado and to ask the faithful to join him in prayer. The twister is believed to have killed 24 people, down from an overnight estimate of 51.

Injured parents walk home after rescuing their children from the destruction at their school where at least 20 other kids perished.

Injured parents walk home after rescuing their children from the destruction at their school where at least 20 other kids perished.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/21/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Moore, tornado, Oklahoma, death toll, prayers


OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (Catholic Online) - In one of his first tweets, Pope Francis has called for prayers the people of Oklahoma. "I am close to the families of all who died in the Oklahoma tornado, especially those who lost young children. Join me in praying for them," Pope Francis tweeted to his 2.5 million followers.

"Let us pray for the victims -- at least 50 of them -- and the missing, especially the children, struck by the violent tornado that hit Oklahoma City yesterday. Hear us, O Lord," Pope Francis later said during his prayers of the faithful.

The prayers are working, as the death toll from Monday's disaster in Moore, Oklahoma has been lowered from 52 to 24. Authorities believe the earlier death toll, which at one time was as high as 91, may have double counted some casualties.

However, the situation remains grim, especially at the Plaza Towers Elementary School, which suffered a direct hit and most of the reported casualties. Area hospitals report an additional 240 people have been injured and were being treated in area hospitals.

At this time, the number of children versus adults deceased in the disaster remains in flux, although initial estimates suggest that at least twenty of the 24 lost are children.

The tornado destroyed hundreds of homes and hundreds of animals from family pets to horses and livestock were killed in the disaster. Eyewitnesses say they saw animals as well as cars in flight during the tornado.

President Obama has declared Oklahoma to be a major disaster area following the devastation in Moore and in other parts of Oklahoma where tornadoes touched down yesterday.

The people of Moore spent much of their day keeping an eye on the sky as warnings and the National Weather Service called watches. It became apparent early in the day that the region would experience widespread severe weather.

At 2:40 p.m. CDT, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for the town. A Tornado warning means a tornado is probably imminent as spotters on the ground have observed a funnel and radar operators are spotting a distinctive radar signature of tornado formation.

At 2:52, radar clearly indicated that a tornado was approaching the ground.

At 2:56, spotters confirmed reports of a tornado on the ground.

At 3:01 a Tornado Emergency was issued for Moore. A Tornado Emergency is a warning that means widespread damage and fatalities are expected and may continue. These warnings are normally issued if a powerful tornado touches down in a heavily populated area.

Local weather services told residents to get underground or into shelter, or else they would die.

Forty-five minutes after it started, the tornado dissipated at 3:36 p.m.

It became immediately apparent that the tornado had tracked across two schools, destroying both, as well as a number of homes. Vehicles and downed signs were peppered with holes, looking as though they were sprayed with machine gun fire, this is what makes tornadoes so deadly, the swirling debris that can penetrate metal.

In the schools, teachers moved students into hallways and bathrooms where it was hoped they would enjoy the greatest safety. Teachers used their bodies to shield students. Children say they were told to hug the walls as the twister began consuming the structures around them.

In the immediate aftermath, and for hours afterwards, dozens of victims lay buried under rubble and debris. At Plaza Towers Elementary School, nearly two dozen children were dead following the collapse of the building they used for refuge. Another seven in that school were found drowned after a broken water pipe flooded the space they used for shelter.

As parents walked for miles to seek their children at the school, they were met by police who barricaded the area and barred access. Horrified parents could only watch as rescue workers sifted through the rubble, trying to listen for any children calling for help.

Until 6:30 p.m., rescuers reported hearing the cries of survivors, but then those cries stopped. No child has been pulled alive from the rubble since late yesterday afternoon.

Tearful parents gathered near a Catholic church as a volunteer read off the names of those children who were found with a megaphone. Most children have since been reunited with their parents.

Across the area, at least 8,000 residents are without power and those in the path of the tornado are seeking shelter and basic necessities. The National Guard has arrived to assist with recovery and relief efforts.

The tornado has been rated as an EF4 on the Fujita scale. Initial estimates suggested the tornado was an EF5, with a two-mile wide base and winds of up to 300 miles per hour. This has been revised to a more accurate estimate of a quarter-mile base and winds around 200 MPH.

As for now, the region is overcast and thunderstorms are predicted for later.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Living Faith

YOU CAN'T BELIEVE IT -- Is Pope Francis really about to endorse THIS man? Watch

Image of Although Pope Francis is celebrating Mass next to an icon of the Cuban revolution, that does not mean he is endorsing it.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cuban officials have given the go ahead for the papal altar to be erected next to a giant outline of Che Guevara for the world to see. Work has already begun on the project and the placement of the altar will provoke commentary from those who accuse Pope Francis of ... continue reading


Catholic priest who blessed atomic bomb crews -- and his conversion

Image of

By Tony Magliano

Seventy years ago, on August 6, 1945, the single most destructive weapon ever unleashed upon human beings and the environment - the atomic bomb - was dropped by an American B-29 bomber on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing approximately 80,000 people. Three days ... continue reading


Pastor Tullian Tchividjian breaks his silence: Admits life felt like a bad dream after recent affair scandal Watch

Image of Pastor Tullian Tchividjian is the grandson of famous evangelist Billy Graham,

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ex-Pastor Tullian Tchividjian of the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida broke his silence after his recent moral failure admission and stepping down from his post. Billy Graham's grandson wrote an open letter to his supporters and friends, ... continue reading


Pope Francis warns of 'genocide' as Christian Persecution increases globally Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christians all over the world are suffering from increasing prejudice and persecution. It is no secret that Islamic extremism and repressive governments are trying hard to perpetuate the oppression of Christianity. Pope Francis has been moved to warn of "a form of ... continue reading


'Let Jesus satisfy your hunger for God': Pope Francis encourages people to make offers to God Watch

Image of Pope Francis reflected on the Sunday reading from the Gospel of John in which a vast crowd follows Jesus, but lacks enough food to eat.

By CNA/EWTN News

Jesus Christ's miraculous multiplication of the loaves shows that he offers "fullness of life for hungry man," Pope Francis said Sunday. He encouraged everyone to offer what little they have to God so that God can multiply their gifts and good deeds. Vatican ... continue reading


What to wear to church: What's more important, physical or inner beauty? Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Wearing your best outfit or putting on a little makeup in preparation for Church isn't too looked down upon. A leading Christian writer shared with Crosswalk.com what she has realized over years of church participation. Although she loves beautiful clothes and make-up, ... continue reading


'Nothing can separate me from the love of God': The first American Ebola patient shares his profound realization on deathbed Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

He was the first American who contracted the deadly Ebola virus - fearful and sick, Dr. Kent Brantly came to realize something important for Christians and their relationship with God. Amid the pain and moments of uncertainty, from being diagnosed positive with ... continue reading


J. Matt Barber: The Meaning of Life

Image of Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law.

By J. Matt Barber

So this was rock bottom. The day, which yet again wore into night with fast food and old Bonanza reruns, would end like all the rest. Where were my car keys? As I searched in preparation for another trip to the liquor store, I made my way to my bedroom and opened ... continue reading


'There is no hope, no life, no hope for an end': 'Donor fatigue' setting in among those helping Christians in Middle East fleeing ISIS Watch

Image of Refugees now realize that they will be unable to return to their homes in Iraq or Syria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With no end in sight, "donor fatigue" is setting in for those trying to help Middle Eastern Christians fleeing ISIS. There appears to be no solutions, only increasing refugees and more need. The refugees' situation is only getting worse. Refugees now realize ... continue reading


Giant cross at veteran memorial to stay standing with game-changing agreement made Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Legal battle over the issue of a giant cross standing over a veterans' memorial has been a long and tedious fight, but an agreement may now put it all to rest, keeping the monument on the land. Atheists and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have filed legal ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Numbers 12:1-13
1 Miriam, and Aaron too, criticised Moses over the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 6-7, 12-13
3 For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 14:22-36
22 And at once he made the disciples get into the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 4th, 2015 Image

St. John Vianney
August 4: St. John Vianney, Priest (Patron of priests) Feast day - August ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter