Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/21/2013 (1 year 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 (1 year 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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Living Faith

Papal visit to US not confirmed, but archbishop confident

Image of Pope Francis coming to Philly next September!

By Catholic News Agency (News Consortium)

Lets all Pray that Pope Francis comes to visit us here in the United States of America. Philadelphia, PA  (CNA/EWTN) - Reports that Pope Francis will travel to the U.S. for the World Meeting of Families in 2015 remain unconfirmed by the Vatican; however, ... continue reading


Catholic should be a way of life, not just a Sunday thing

Image of Catholic means universal. It's time to apply that to how we live.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

To know the way forward, we must look to the past. As the very first chapter Ecclesiastes tells us, "there is no new thing under the sun," meaning that everything we think of as new is actually old and whatever we can imagine has been imagined, and even tried by those ... continue reading


Let the Holy Spirit Teach us How to Become Prayer Watch

Image of St. Paul wrote to the early Christians in Greece, telling them to pray without ceasing. (1 Th. 5:16-19) They did not live lives of ease, in any sense of the word. They had families, occupations, bills, and yes, difficulties and struggles beyond what many of us could imagine. They also suffered greatly for their faith. Yet, he instructed them to Pray without ceasing. Did he really mean it? I believe that he did.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

When the Spirit dwells in a person, from the moment in which that person has become prayer, he never leaves him. For the Spirit himself never ceases to pray in him. Whether the person is asleep or awake, prayer never from then on departs from his soul. Whether he ... continue reading


Pope Francis meets, blesses Sudanese woman condemned to death for faith Watch

Image of Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced to death for apostasy, but has since escaped her sentence and left Sudan.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has met and blessed the Sudanese woman who was recently condemned to death for her faith. Meriam Ibrahim was condemned to death in Sudan for the crime of apostasy. VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis has met and blessed Meriam Ibrahim at the ... continue reading


MIRACLE IN ENGLAND: God's face smiles over Norfolk, or is it Sean Connery or Karl Marx? Watch

Image of This image is suspected to show the face of God in clouds over Norfolk, however, it may also be the face of Karl Marx or Sean Connery.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The English have long thought themselves special, and a new photograph from Norfolk in England may just prove that God does indeed smile on the English. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Amateur photographer Jeremy Fletcher took an image that shows a face in ... continue reading


Pope Francis to visit Mafia stronghold this weekend Watch

Image of Pope Francis' stance against organized crime is seen as remarkable; the Mafia and the Catholic Church have previously been seen by many as having

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Incensed about the loss of innocent life in his immediate surroundings, Pope Francis plans to travel to the Mafia stronghold of Caserta, near Naples this weekend in an effort to set things right. The murder of three-year-old Nicola "Coco" Campolongo, a boy who ... continue reading


Pope expresses regret with exodus of Christians from Mosul Watch

Image of

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

In his weekly Sunday Angelus address Pope Francis mourned the fleeing of the last Christians from the Iraqi city of Mosul, who were told by ISIS forces last week to either convert, pay the Jizya tax or leave. (CNA/EWTN News) - "They are persecuted; our brothers are ... continue reading


Your Catholic Voice Foundation delivers for Sisters of St. Joseph

Image of They're on their way, thanks to you.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An order for 350 Bibles for a Catholic school in Grenada has been shipped to the sisters free of international shipping charges, thanks to you, the readers of Catholic Online. The shipping charges stood at approximately $800, and was covered by donations. Now, Your ... continue reading


This is Ch__ch. What is missing?

Image of What's missing? You are!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What's missing from this church? You are! Are we mistaken? Show up and tell us you are already there and get your daily prayer and more for FREE as our thanks.Click here now to say you're there!Now you can share this question with your friends. Are they at church? continue reading


Unaccompanied migrant children need our help

Image of This is an image of immigrant children presently housed in conditions that would be unconstitutional for convicted felons. These children are without their families, alone and afraid and without control over their future, they are the victims of many culprits.

By Tony Magliano

Tens of thousands of children fleeing desperate conditions have entered the United States asking for help. And many more are coming. What kind of welcome is being offered to them? The answer to that question is still largely undetermined. According to Human Rights ... 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

Gospel, John 11:19-27
19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 29th, 2014 Image

St. Martha
July 29: "Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique ... 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