Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/21/2013 (3 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 (3 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'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Living Faith

Pope Francis on the Feast of the Holy Trinity Watch

Image of Pope Francis shares a message about the Holy Trinity (Pinterest).

By Ann Scneible (CNA/EWTN News)

The feast of the Holy Trinity is an invitation for us to commit to enriching our everyday relationships by promoting communion, consolation, and mercy, Pope Francis said during his weekly Sunday Angelus address. Vatican City, Rome (CNA/EWTN News) - "Our being created ... continue reading


Catholic Moral Teaching: Freedom, Choice and Truth Watch

Image of Our Moral Life in Christ.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

What we choose determines who we become. Choosing what is good changes the chooser, empowering him or her to proceed along the pathways of virtue and develop the habitus - or habits- which promote Christian character. The Catechism of the Catholic Church ... continue reading


Vatican claims Third Secret of Fatima is fully revealed... But isn't that how coverups work? Watch

Image of Has the Third Secret been released in its entirety? The Vatican insists it has.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Ever since the reveal of the Third Secret of Fatima in 2000, several people have insisted there's more to the secret than what the public was told. These rumors have taken a life of their own, prompting the Holy See to speak out against them. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Making a Difference: A Memorial Day reflection from America's late peace-priest Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

The best way to remember those who have been killed in battle is to work for the day when others will no longer be sent to take their place. Prayerfully reflecting on how to move away from war and war preparation should be central to every Memorial Day.Why do ... continue reading


What is the difference between the possessed and the mentally ill? Watch

Image of How to tell the difference between the mentally ill and the possessed (The Devil Inside/YouTube).

By (CNA/EWTN News)

Recognizing the difference between a person who's possessed and a person struggling with a mental illness or other infirmity is a vital part of the ministry of exorcism, according to a long-time exorcist and priest. Rome, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - Father Cipriano de Meo, ... continue reading


'Lord, have mercy!': Over 2,000 people witness miracle in the skies Watch

Image of Jesus appeared in Mexico's skies (wallpapersinhq).

By (CNA/EWTN News)

It's a major miracle that you've probably never heard of. Lima, Peru (CNA/EWTN News) - On Sunday, Oct. 3, 1847, more than 2,000 people in Ocotlán, Mexico saw a perfect image of Jesus Christ crucified that appeared in the sky for more than 30 minutes.Approved by the ... continue reading


'The blood you have sucked from of all these people ... is a cry to the Lord': Pope Francis calls for justice Watch

Image of Pope Francis spoke of oppression and exploitation during his homily (Pinterest).

By (CNA/EWTN News)

During his Mass on Thursday, Pope Francis preached a warning to the rich who oppress the poor, focusing on employers who accumulate wealth by misusing those who work for them. Vatican City, Rome (CNA/EWTN News) - "We consider this drama of today: the exploitation of ... continue reading


'I am not talking about some cult, I am talking about an exorcism by the Catholic Church in Rome': Live exorcism recorded at Vatican? Watch

Image of The Exorcist director, William Friedkin, asked to record real exorcism at the Vatican (Pinterest).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

William Friedkin, the director of famous horror film "The Exorcist," described a time he was invited to document a real exorcism at the Vatican. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to AFP, Friedkin shared his experience at the Cannes film festival Thursday ... continue reading


5 ways the devil attacks you and what the Bible says you should do about it Watch

Image of When are you most vulnerable and how to handle it (InColors).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

We all have bad days - but did you know the devil preys on you when you are the most vulnerable? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Life is never easy for long. Children, work, school and illness often interfere with the plans we've made for ourselves, and it is ... continue reading


Cardinal warns 'Demonic' threat to America Watch

Image of

By Adelaide Mena (CNA/EWTN News)

Speaking in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Cardinal Robert Sarah enjoined Catholics to resist "ideological colonization" and the removal of God from society, in order to help the Church resist threats to the family and religious freedom around the world. Washington D.C., ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 1:10-16
10 This salvation was the subject of the search and investigation of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has performed wonders, his ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:28-31
28 Peter took this up. 'Look,' he said to him, 'we have left everything ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 24th, 2016 Image

St. David I of Scotland
May 24: David, the youngest son of Scotland's virtuous ... Read More