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An enormous tornado spun through the suburbs of Oklahoma City on Monday, flattening homes, business, and at least one school with winds reaching up to 200 miles-per-hour.
It's not yet clear how many people have been killed by the tornado — which at one point was estimated to be as big as a mile wide — though scattered reports of lives lost and bodies being pulled from the rubble have begun to trickle in.
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"People are trapped. You are going to see the devastation for days to come," Betsy Randolph, a spokesperson for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, told CNN Monday afternoon. "Send your prayers heavenward because there are people fighting for their lives."
According to a preliminary rating from the National Weather Service, the tornado was at least a category EF-4, meaning winds reached somewhere between 166 and 200 miles-per-hour.
Early images from the scene showed widespread damage, with some blocks completely levelled.
UPDATE: The Associated Press has released a photograph of a child being pulled from the rubble of Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla.:
UPDATE: Watch a time-lapse footage of the tornado as it tore through the Oklahoma City area on Monday afternoon (via Huffington Post):
UPDATE: KFOR Oklahoma City reports that 7 children have been found dead at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, and 20 to 30 remain missing.
According to NBC, the death toll has risen to 10.
UPDATE: The National Weather Service has released this preliminary image charting the tornado's path.
UPDATE: A Twitter user uploaded the following short video of men searching through the rubble.
UPDATE: KFOR Oklahoma City reports grim news — rescue teams do not believe there are any more survivors at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla.:
UPDATE: President Obama has called Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) and vowed to send "all available assistance" to the area.
The White House released the following statement on that phone call:
UPDATE: The state medial examiner's office has confirmed 37 deaths so far, and said it expects that number will rise.
UPDATE: CNN has confirmed that seven of the dead are children from Plaza Towers Elementary School, which was completely destroyed by the storm.
UPDATE: Watch live as Oklahoma officials discuss the storm:
UPDATE: The state medical examiner's office has upped the death toll to 51. In addition, the AP is reporting that 120 people are being treated at area hospitals.
UPDATE: A moving photograph from Oklahoma: A teacher and a student at Briarwood Elementary School:
UPDATE: Another image of a street completely oblitered by the tornado:
UPDATE: More incredible footage of the tornado:
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