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Missouri tornado death toll rises to 116, more storms possible

Last updated on: May 24, 2011 15:27 IST

Missouri tornado death toll rises to 116, more storms possible

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The death toll from the deadly tornado that hit the Missouri town of Joplin in United States has soared to 116 on Tuesday.

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Image: A sign lays among the ruins
Photographs: Mike Stone/Reuters
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Missouri tornado death toll rises to 116, more storms possible

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"We are optimistic that there are still lives to be saved. But (first responders) have seen a tremendous amount of pain already," Jay Nixon, Governor of Missouri was quoted as saying by CNN.

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Image: A woman looks through debris
Photographs: Eric Thayer/Reuters
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Missouri tornado death toll rises to 116, more storms possible

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The deadly tornado struck the town of Joplin near the border with Oklahoma and Kansas on Sunday, less than a month after a horrific tornado outbreak left 354 dead across seven states of US.

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Image: A man looks through rubble
Photographs: Eric Thayer/Reuters
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Missouri tornado death toll rises to 116, more storms possible

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The tornado on Sunday tore apart homes and businesses, damaged a high school and one of the two hospitals in the city. Based on preliminary estimates, the twister ranked as an EF-4 with winds between 190 and 198 mph, National Weather Service director Jack Hayes said.

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Image: A view of the devastation after a tornado blew the roof off the St. John's Regional Medical Centre
Photographs: Eric Thayer/Reuters
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Missouri tornado death toll rises to 116, more storms possible

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According to CNN, the National Weather Service warned there was a 45 per cent chance of another tornado outbreak on Tuesday over a wide swath, including parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

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Image: An entire neighborhood lay in ruin
Photographs: Mike Stone/Reuters
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Missouri tornado death toll rises to 116, more storms possible

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The Storm Prediction Center placed several large cities in the most high-risk area, along with other cities including Kansas City, Missouri; Dallas; Topeka and Wichita, Kansas; and Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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Image: Trees are seen stripped bare
Photographs: Eric Thayer/Reuters
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Missouri tornado death toll rises to 116, more storms possible

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Searchers fanned out in waves across several square kilometres. The teams went door to door, making checks of property that in many places had been stripped to its foundations or had its walls collapse.

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Image: Volunteers look for survivors in the rubble of a home after a devastating tornado hit Joplin
Photographs: Eric Thayer/Reuters
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Missouri tornado death toll rises to 116, more storms possible

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Confused and disoriented survivors tried to salvage clothes, furniture, family photos and financial records from their flattened or badly damaged homes.

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Image: A man pauses while looking for a missing friend
Photographs: Eric Thayer/Reuters
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Missouri tornado death toll rises to 116, more storms possible

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According to a rescuer, while many residents had 10 to 20 minutes of warning, rain and hail may have drowned out the sirens.

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Image: A woman looks for survivors amid the rubble
Photographs: Eric Thayer/Reuters
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Missouri tornado death toll rises to 116, more storms possible

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Joplin, is the hometown of poet Langston Hughes. It flourished through the Second World War because of its rich lead and zinc mines.

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Image: View of devastation at St John's Regional Medical Center
Photographs: Mike Stone/Reuters
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