Monday, May 20, 2013

2 mile wide tornado flattens parts of Oklahoma

Neighbourhoods are flattened and buildings are on fire after a mile-wide tornado moved through the Oklahoma City area of the United States.

Police say an elementary school took a direct hit from the tornado.

Television footage on Monday afternoon showed homes and buildings that had been reduced to rubble in Moore, Oklahoma, south of Oklahoma City.

Footage also showed vehicles littering roadways south and southwest of Oklahoma City.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The suburb of Moore was hit hard by a tornado in 1999. The storm had the highest winds ever recorded near the earth's surface.

Several tornadoes have ravaged parts of the central United States, reducing portions of a mobile home park to rubble and killing two elderly men.

The storms concentrated damage in Wichita, Kansas and Oklahoma. The National Weather Service was forecasting more of the same for the area - including Oklahoma City and Tulsa - on Monday afternoon and evening, warning of the possibility of tornadoes and baseball-sized hail.

The worst of Sunday's damage appeared to be at a mobile home park located near Shawnee among gently rolling hills, southeast of Oklahoma City.

"It took a dead hit," resident James Hoke said.