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Deadly Tornados Kill 9 in Oklahoma

  • VOA News

A man on a motorcycle drives through flood water on Western Ave. at NW 5th Street in Oklahoma City on Friday, May 31, 2013.

A man on a motorcycle drives through flood water on Western Ave. at NW 5th Street in Oklahoma City on Friday, May 31, 2013.

A new round of tornadoes in Oklahoma has killed nine people and injured at least 75 others. Most of the damage and casualties occurred in the area around Oklahoma City, the state capital, where a huge tornado killed 24 people just 11 days earlier.

Many victims trying to escape Friday night's high winds and by highways suddenly found themselves directly in the path of powerful storms as the winds changed direction.

Severe flooding was a new problem in the Oklahoma City area Saturday, after a four-hour downpour that dropped 20 to 28 centimeters of rain.

Deadliest U.S. Tornadoes Since 1900

March 1925: 695 killed in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana
April 1936: 216 killed in Tupelo, Missouri
April 1939: 203 killed in Gainesville, Georgia
April 1947: 181 killed in Woodward, Oklahoma
May 2011: 158 killed in Joplin, Missouri
April 1908: 143 killed in Louisiana and Mississippi
June 1953: 116 killed in Flint, Michigan
May 1953: 114 killed in Waco, Texas

Source: NOAA
Nearly 20 tornadoes were reported across the U.S. Midwest Friday - an area often known as "Tornado Alley" due to weather patterns at this time of year that increase the risk of severe storms.

Despite the damage and human cost, authorities said the latest tornadoes were much less powerful that the unusually large tornado that ravaged the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on May 10. Moore felt some of the force of Friday's storms, but most of the damage was in and around El Reno, another suburb of the stated capital.

Oklahomans Have Long Tradition of Resilience:

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