A massive tornado more than a mile wide touched down in Oklahoma yesterday afternoon, tragically flattening a community of 41,000 just south of Oklahoma City and killing roughly 91 people, 20 of which were children.
Eye witnesses report that the tornado, which has received a preliminary rating of four out of five on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, traveled 20 miles at wind speeds of up to 200mph, tossing cars to and fro, crushing homes and demolishing buildings - including at least two schools. Hospitals reported at least 145 people injured, 70 of which were children. This tornado is the worst to hit the suburb since 1999 and officials from the National Weather Service warn that more could be on their way. Meanwhile, hundreds of people have lost their homes and many are out searching for loved ones.
Here are a few ways you can help:
Text GIVE to 80888 to make a $10 donation to the Salvation Army of Oklahoma or mail donations to:
Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command
P.O. Box 2095
Oklahoma City, OK 73101
Make donations online to United Way at http://www.unitedwayokc.org or by mail to: United Way of Central Oklahoma, P.O. Box 837, Oklahoma City, OK 73101 (with notation for May Tornado Relief).
To locate loved ones, or – if you are a victim in Oklahoma and your people may be worried about you – visit www.safeandwell.org.
There is also a site devoted to locating pets in the Oklahoma City Metro area that have been displaced by this disaster. Visit Lost and Found pets for more information.