Dozens Dead in Moore Tornado: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

moore tornado

Action News 5 – Memphis, Tennessee

A massive tornado has ripped through the city of Moore, Oklahoma, just outside Oklahoma City — killing dozens of victims including many schoolchildren and causing staggering destruction across some 30 square miles, according to KFOR.

The death toll now has been revised several times, up to 51, then to 91, and now down to at least 24. There are more than 200 injured.

Two elementary schools were flattened, and the town’s only hospital took a direct hit.

Emergency workers are combing through the rubble desperately searching for victims.

KFOR meteorologist Mike Morgan called this “the worst tornado damage-wise in the history of the world.”

moore oklahoma worse

He is not exaggerating. This is a serious and tragic situation.

Morgan estimates the damage to be two to three times worse than that of the May 1999 tornado — the worst ever — which also hit the town of Moore.

The National Guard has been mobilized and President Obama has directed FEMA to provide “all available assistance.”

Here’s what you need to know.

1. This Was Reportedly an EF-4 Tornado

moore oklahoma tornado

Early estimations classified this tornado as an EF-4 — the second-most-violent tornado on the on the Enhanced Fujita scale, with winds up to 200 mph.

2. The Debris Field of the Tornado Was 2 Miles Wide

Violent Moore, OK Tornado from May 20, 2013 Rated EF-5Video of the Moore Oklahoma Tornado 5/20/2013. Shot along Southeast 134th at Toby Keith/Eastern and Sooner Rd in Moore, Oklahoma. The Moore tornado was rated EF-5 by the National Weather Service. Not for Broadcast. This media clip is available for license. Details at Follow me on: Twitter – Facebook – Web -…2013-05-20T22:36:41.000Z

The tornado is estimated at 1 mile wide with a debris field of 2 miles. The overall affected area is 25-30 square miles.

3. The Tornado Ripped Through a Densely Populated Area

Tornado Track Moore

Moore is a city of 50,000 people, a suburb of Oklahoma City located just to the south. The tornado came through south of the heart of town, leveling businesses and homes.

The Moore Medical Center, the only hospital in Moore, was hit hard:

moore medical center tornado

moore oklahoma tornado

Meanwhile, local farms also were hit hard, killing 75-200 horses, according to early estimates.

moore oklahoma tornado

4. Two Schools Were Destroyed, Both Elementary Schools

KFOR reporter Lance West broke down in tears as he described the scene at Plaza Towers Elementary School, one of two schools leveled by the tornado. He described a source telling him third-graders were being “pulled” from the school.

The station later reported some two dozen children dead at the school.

Fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students were evacuated before the storm. The lower grades were not as fortunate.

third graders

But there were some hopeful signs:

Meanwhile, the other school, Briarwood, reportedly sent a message home to parents alerting them that student would remain inside the school to wait out the storm.

Briarwood was reportedly “flattened,” but all Briarwood students are reportedly accounted for, with only minor injuries.

Briarwood Elementary School:

Plaza Towers Elementary:

5. Moore Was Struck by One of the Worst Tornadoes of All Time in May 1999

Oklahoma Tornado, May 3rd 1999 (formation of the tornado)Channel 4's program on the May 3rd tornado. The F5 tornado killed 44 people in Moore, Oklahoma. There's an amazing footage showing how the tornado is formed by several funnels merging as one (0:46). This tornado produced the strongest wind speeds ever recorded on Earth, 318 mph.2008-03-22T06:23:53.000Z

On May 3, 1999, a tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma, killing 55 people. That twister was classified as an F-5.

moore tornado oklahoma

Live coverage below via KFOR:

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