Tornado touches down in Joplin, Missouri
Monday, May 23, 2011
A tornado touched down yesterday in Missouri, causing widespread damage. At least 89 were killed.,
The path of the tornado was reported to be from one half to three quarters of a mile wide. City spokeswoman Lynn Onstot estimated the path to be nearly four miles long; Jasper County emergency management director Keith Stammer put its length around six miles.
|You see pictures of World War II, the devastation and all that with the bombing. That's really what it looked like.|
—Kerry Sachetta, principal of Joplin High School
Witnesses described entire blocks of buildings destroyed. Steve Runnels of thesaid "We have reports of significant structural damage to strong buildings. Automobiles have been flipped, bark was stripped off trees."
Among the properties damaged was a local hospital, St. John's Regional Medical Center. Some patients were hurt, and all were evacuated to other regional hospitals. The local high school, Joplin High School, was also hit. Describing the damage, its principal, Kerry Sachetta, said "You see pictures of World War II, the devastation and all that with the bombing. That's really what it looked like. I couldn't even make out the side of the building."
Joplin has a population of about 50,000.
President Barack Obama has ordered the (FEMA) to support state and local efforts in response and recovery. He issued a statement with condolences to the families of victims.
- Richard Esposito, Leezel Tanglao, Keven Dolak. "Tornadoes Rip Across Midwest; 89 Dead in Joplin, Mo." — , May 23, 2011
- Kevin Murphy, Reuters. "Tornado kills at least 30 in Joplin, Missouri" — , May 23, 2011
- Kurt Voigt, Associated Press. "Missouri Officials Fear Tornado Killed at Least 24" — , May 23, 2011