News / USA

Search for Survivors Continues After Devastating US Tornado

Members of Missouri Task Force One search-and-rescue team stand by as heavy equipment moves debris from a tornado-damaged Home Depot store, in Joplin , Missouri, May 24, 2011
Members of Missouri Task Force One search-and-rescue team stand by as heavy equipment moves debris from a tornado-damaged Home Depot store, in Joplin , Missouri, May 24, 2011
Greg Flakus

Officials in the Midwestern U.S. town of Joplin, Missouri, say the death toll from Sunday's massive tornado stands at 116 and that search efforts continue for possible survivors trapped in rubble.

Search and rescue teams are conducting their third sweep through the nearly 10 kilometer-long and one-kilometer wide swath of destruction left by the tornado. They are working as quickly as possible while weather conditions remain relatively stable. More storms are forecast for the area.

Joplin Fire Chief Mitch Randles said there are areas with large piles of rubble that might hold survivors.

“We are still finding individuals. We did rescue seven individuals from underneath rubble yesterday and, of course, we are also finding deceased folks, as well, said Randles. "It is just really incredible the fact that we are still finding people. We are hoping to find more folks and that is why we are doing these searches. We want to make every opportunity that we can to find everybody that is in the rubble and that has survived to this point.”

Randles said the current sweep involves a slower pace than previous searches and that he plans a fourth search, possibly on Wednesday, using specially trained dogs.

“We are searching every structure that has been damaged or destroyed in a more in-depth manner," he said. "I have dogs and dog handlers coming from all over the country to help us in that effort.”

Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr said the Red Cross and other volunteer organizations are helping people who were left homeless by the twister and that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is on hand to help.

“Joplin is a great city. We have suffered a devastating loss," said Rohr. "We will recover and we will recover strongly and we have a lot of help and a lot of volunteers to facilitate that.”

The tornado that struck Joplin was classified by the National Weather Service as an F-4, with winds of more than 300 kilometers per hour.  It lasted only 20 minutes, but it killed more than 100 people, injured more than 400 others, and destroyed or heavily damaged some 2,000 homes, businesses, churches and a hospital. Authorities have registered more than 1,700 calls about missing people and they hope to resolve most of those cases soon, as victims are identified and survivors come forth and reunite with loved ones.

This was the worst tornado to strike the United States in 60 years. It was the latest in a wave of violent storms that have swept midwestern and southern states in recent weeks, leaving more than 300 people dead and causing more than $2 billion dollars in damage.

President Barack Obama plans to visit the devastated area next week, after he returns from an official trip in Europe.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid