Washington, May 21 (IANS) A devastating tornado in the Oklahoma City suburbs in southcentral US, that has killed at least 51 people, including seven children at an elementary school, was second only to one in May 1999 in its fury.
The twister 13 years ago, rated a maximum EF5 on the Fujita Tornado Scale, killed 36 people and smashed some of the same communities, according to CNN.
On May 3, 1999, a total of 74 tornadoes pummelled Kansas and Oklahoma, it said citing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The states counted a total of 46 dead. Thirty-six died in Oklahoma City. The strongest tornado tracked for nearly an hour and a half along a 38-mile path from Chickasha through south Oklahoma City and the suburbs of Bridge Creek, Newcastle, Moore, Midwest City and Del City in Oklahoma state, a major producer of oil, natural gas and agriculture.
Monday’s tornado in Oklahoma city with a preliminary rating of at least EF4, also struck Moore and Newcastle.
According to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Centre, the 1999 Oklahoma City twister was among the costliest in US history, with damage totalling at $1 billion.
Moore is located between Oklahoma City and Norman — home to the University of Oklahoma — on the south side of the metropolitan area.
The second deadliest tornado in the Oklahoma City area occurred on June 12, 1942, with 35 residents killed, according to the National Weather Service.