Tornadoes, floods kill 14 in Oklahoma, Missouri

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Protestors clash with riot police between Taksim and Besiktas in Istanbul, on Saturday, during a demonstration against the demolition of the park. AFP PHOTO

CHICAGO: Tornadoes and floods in the United States killed at least 14 people, including two children, officials said on Saturday (Sunday in Manila), with most of the fatalities in Oklahoma where a monster twister struck last month.

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Friday night’s storms battered areas in and around Oklahoma City with high winds, heavy rain and hail, much of it near where 24 people were killed on the May 20 tornado.

The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office announced nine fatalities in the state and said five of the victims have not been identified, while the sheriffs’ offices in towns east of Oklahoma City confirmed two other people had died.

In Missouri, authorities said three people died from severe flooding in the wake of the storms.

The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, warned that the severe weather was shifting eastward again Sunday, with damaging winds and heavy downpours—and possibly small hail and isolated tornadoes—expected to threaten northern Virginia through Maine.

And northern Mexico was also bracing for severe thunderstorms, strong winds, and possibly hail and tornadoes.

The National Weather Service said that, the first tornado developed around the city of El Reno before moving into parts of Oklahoma City, spawning others.

Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri, who toured the widespread devastation to assess the damage, urged residents of his state to avoid walking or driving through flooded areas. AFP

“Missouri has been hit by several rounds of severe storms in the past few weeks, and last night’s dangerous weather follows several days of heavy rain,” he said in a statement.

“Because many streams and rivers are overflowing their banks, we will need to stay vigilant in both monitoring and responding to flooding across the state as well. This remains a dangerous situation,” Nixon said.

As the extent of the devastation in Oklahoma became clear, the work of cleanup crews was complicated by downpours that drenched the region overnight.

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