News / USA

Victims of Oklahoma Tornado Get Help From Near and Far

Victims of Oklahoma Tornado Get Help From Near and Fari
X
May 24, 2013 1:13 AM
In the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, the recovery from Monday's deadly tornado is picking up speed, even as locals mourn the loss of at least 24 people, including 10 children. Funerals will begin Friday in Moore, and President Obama plans to visit the town Sunday. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Moore, resources are pouring in from all over the country to help those in desperate need.
Greg Flakus
In the Oklahoma City suburb of  Moore, the recovery from Monday's deadly tornado is picking up speed, even as locals mourn the loss of at least 24 people, including 10 children. Funerals will begin Friday in Moore, and President Obama plans to visit the town Sunday. Resources are pouring in from all over the country to help those in desperate need.

The devastation of her home brought a bitter twist of irony to Linda Berna. She helped with search and rescue efforts here after the May 1999 tornado.

“We kicked down doors to see if there were any survivors, and now here I am on the other side. I never thought this would happen,” Berna said.

Hundreds of people like Berna are coping with loss and trying to survive.

To help them, Moore's First Baptist Church offered its large property as a center for relief operations.

For people in Moore who lost their homes or had homes heavily damaged, state and local officials, as well as private groups, have set up a command center here to provide them with food, and shelter if necessary.

But most people don't need to come here because volunteers load up trucks with water and food to distribute around town.

Donations have poured in from around Oklahoma and from many other states.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is on hand; so is the Red Cross.

And there are representatives from major insurance companies helping people file claims.

The State Farm company even offered relief in the form of free ice cream cones.

Moore resident Natasha says USAA insurance adjusters quickly provided her with a way to fix her home's damaged roof.  
 
“They said 'you were affected by the tornado, what were your damages?' They were real helpful, they took our claim,” Natasha said.

The USAA insurance company brought in a mobile claims processing unit from Texas and has 120 claims adjusters here.  

The tornadoes damaged or destroyed around 12,000 homes, with the total cost exceeding $2 billion. But Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak says that isn't his main concern.

“There are a lot of people out here trying to help hurt people who have lost loved ones, and we are trying to help them with their homes and autos and other things, but it pales in comparison of the loss of life,” Doak said.

On Friday, some of the activity here will cease as the church is used for two funerals of tornado victims, the first of many to come.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Secret Service Head: White House Security Lapse 'Unacceptable'

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid