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 June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Living Faith

Articles of faith: Haunting images of Italy's 'incorruptible' preserved saints whose bodies are displayed for thousands to worship

Image of St. Marie Bernarde

By Linky C

Several incorruptible bodies of saints remain to be displayed and worshiped around several churches in Italy. These haunting images bring a different kind of eerie to the tourist and locals who are visiting these churches. Some of these saints are ... continue reading


Amazing beautiful ancient mosaic church floor found under courtyard of current church Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Archaeologists have discovered an ancient decorated mosaic floor of an ancient church, underneath its modern incarnation, during an excavation. The Christian mosaic is believed to be about 1,700-years-old and part of the old Byzantine church of the fourth century. ... continue reading


Remembering another great encyclical!

Image of

By Tony Magliano

While Pope Francis' new encyclical Laudato, Si' is enjoying wide publicity, few people are aware this year marks the 20th anniversary of another powerfully prophetic social justice and peace encyclical: Evangelium Vitae ("The Gospel of Life"). Trying to awaken the ... continue reading


Former 'Accountant of Auschwitz' asks God for forgiveness during trial facing 300,000 counts of accessory to murder Watch

Image of Oscar Groening,

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former Auschwitz guard, Oscar Groening has asked for God's forgiveness after serving Austchwitz during his testimony in court, last Wednesday. The 94-year-old worked for Austchwitz when he was just 13 and later became the "Accountant of Auschwitz." MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


U.S. archbishops express excitement over pending papal visit Watch

Image of After visiting Cuba, the Pope will visit three major cities on the U.S. east coast - Washington, D.C., New York, and Philadelphia - and the respective bishops of those cities were indeed jubilant.

By Matt Hadro (CNA/EWTN News)

Looking forward to Pope Francis' September visit to the U.S., the nation's bishops were exuberant on Tuesday, as the itinerary for the apostolic voyage was released. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - Fewer than three months before the scheduled visit, Archbishop ... continue reading


Pope Francis to meet with president, prisoners and homeless during U.S. visit Watch

Image of Pope Francis will celebrate Mass at Madison Square Garden and preside over a vespers service at the newly spruced-up St. Patrick's Cathedral.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis' visit to both the United States and Cuba will be hectic. In addition to meeting with political officials in both countries, the Pontiff will meet with prisoners at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia and the homeless at the ... continue reading


Learning from Elijah: Shipwreck, Struggle and the Broom Tree

Image of Elijah under the broom tree

By Deacon Keith Fournier

There are lessons that can only be learned under the broom tree. The lesson St Paul gave to the early Christians in Greece about the reality of being shipwrecked and experiencing daily struggles in life is critical in our age. God is searching for men and ... continue reading


Head of Russian Orthodox Church to meet with Pope Francis to repair rift between branches Watch

Image of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow is a Russian Orthodox bishop. He became Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus' and Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church in February of 2009.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is definitely going to happen -- but where and when has yet to be decided. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church and Pope Francis have agreed to meet in an attempt to repair the major rift between the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity. LOS ... continue reading


Pope Francis explains the nature of faith - the whole Gospel is written in its light Watch

Image of Francis lamented that

By CNA/EWTN News

The Pope focused on the virtue of faith during his Sunday Angelus address, saying the whole gospel is written in its light. VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News) - "Faith is this: to touch Jesus and to draw from him the grace which saves," Pope Francis explained June 28 at ... continue reading


Pope Francis admonishes archbishops to be convinced by what themselves teach Watch

Image of The Pope added that, in being witnesses to the faith, archbishops should practice what they preach.

By CNA/EWTN News

During his Mass for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul on Monday, Pope Francis called on the Church's new archbishops to be courageous witnesses who are not ashamed of Christ, and who are convinced by what they themselves teach. VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News) - ... 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, Genesis 28:10-22
10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 91:1-2, 3-4, 14-15
1 You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:18-26
18 While he was speaking to them, suddenly one of the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 6th, 2015 Image

St. Maria Goretti
July 6: Born in Corinaldo, Ancona, Italy, on October 16 1890; her ... 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