Oklahoma Tornado

A devastating EF-5 tornado ripped through Moore, Okla., a year ago Tuesday. Just 11 days later, another twister ravaged the Oklahoma City metro area.

Nine of the 23 people who died as a result of the second storm were members of the local Latino community. Their deaths have sparked efforts to better prepare Hispanic families for storms.

On a windy afternoon in Oklahoma City, American Red Cross volunteer Ivelisse Cruz hands out stickers to families at the Children's Day Festival.

The deaths Friday of veteran storm chaser Tim Samaras, his son Paul and their friend Carl Young when a tornado near El Reno, Okla., pummeled their vehicle has raised some questions:

-- Why do storm chasers do what they do?

-- Do the benefits outweigh the dangers?

There are now reports that as many as 18 people died from injuries they received Friday when the latest in a weeks-long series of tornado-spawning storms tore through parts of Oklahoma.

Update at 8:50 p.m. ET. Death Toll Revised:

An update from Oklahoma's Department of Emergency Management Monday evening reports that 12 adults and 6 children died in Friday night's storms, NPR Southern Bureau Chief Russell Lewis tells us. Officials say that they haven't identified all of the victims. Our original post continues:

Still recovering from a monster EF-5 tornado that leveled parts of the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, the area was hit hard again Friday night. At least nine people — including a mother and child — were reported dead by Canadian County Under Sheriff Chris West in the wake of multiple violent tornadoes.

It's been four days since the tornado blazed through Moore, Okla. And while the initial shock may be abating for some, the hardest part lies ahead for people who live there. Residents of subdivisions like Heatherwood, located about a mile east of Moore, are facing piles of rubble where their houses once stood. The question on their minds — after "Why?" — is "Now what?"

Photographer Katie Hayes Luke has been on assignment for NPR this week and gathered a few portraits of people in that neighborhood.


The recent tornado in Oklahoma and the shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut last year have increased people’s awareness of emergency management at schools. 

At the University of Texas’s Police Building, the Emergency Operation Center is quiet right now. But David Cronk, UT’s Emergency Preparedness director, says when there’s a threat or major event, the room can get pretty crowded.

Funerals began Thursday for the 24 people known to have been killed by the tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., on Monday.

(Most recent update: 8:30 p.m. ET.)

The news Wednesday from Moore, Okla., much of which was destroyed by a massive tornado Monday, begins with word that officials doubt they will find any more survivors or bodies under the hundreds of homes, businesses and other buildings that were leveled.

Wikimedia Commons

Central Texas is helping those in Moore, Oklahoma and surrounding areas in relief and rescue efforts.

Last night, Texas Task Force 1 was dispatched to Oklahoma, an elite search and rescue team which includes 5 members from the Austin Fire Department.

Residents of Moore, Okla., are searching for survivors and coming to terms with a massive tornado that left dozens of people dead and injured more than 200 others Monday afternoon. As aid and recovery groups search for victims and try to reunite loved ones, they're also seeking donations and coordinating housing:

Kendall James, U.S. National Guard

Members of an elite search team from Texas were dispatched to Oklahoma last night. The team is already on the field helping with recovery following the massive tornado that hit Moore on Monday afternoon. 

Gov. Rick Perry announced the activation of Texas Task Force 1 last night. The rescue group includes 70 first responders specialized in victim extraction and medical treatment, also including rescue dogs, hazardous material specialists and structural engineers.  Five members of Texas Task Force 1 are from the Austin Fire Department. 

(We're following the news from Oklahoma, where a tornado devastated the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on Monday. Most recent update: 8:40 p.m. ET.)

A day after a monster EF-5 tornado pummeled Moore, Okla., the focus turned to the victims.

NPR's Wade Goodwyn spent the day in the city talking to survivors. Christie Parrish decided to leave her home for her sister's shelter.

Dozens Killed In Massive Tornado Near Oklahoma City

May 20, 2013
(This post was last updated at 11:45 p.m. ET.)

A massive tornado ripped through the southern suburbs of Oklahoma City, Monday afternoon, killing at least 51 people, according to the state medical examiner's office.

The death toll was expected to rise.

Helicopter images showed large tracts of Moore, Okla., completely leveled by what the National Weather Service says was at least an EF-4 tornado with winds in excess of 166 mph. The tornado stayed on the ground for 40 minutes and traveled 20 miles.