Prayers from all over the world are going up on behalf of the citizens of Oklahoma, through which an enormous tornado ripped yesterday leaving chaos and unprecedented destruction in its wake. At least 24 people are confirmed dead from the mile-wide twister blasting winds in excess of 200 mph through the town of Moore, and severe damage was sustained in the communities surrounding Oklahoma City. An earlier report said many more were confirmed dead, but the medical examiners’ office has since lowered the death toll. Unfortunately, as the hours progress, more and more bodies will be uncovered in the rubble.
The Christian Post reported the continuing frantic search for the children and staff trapped under the wreckage of Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore. Seven children are reported dead and many more still missing and injured.
The Washington Post reported that the National Weather Service had provided a 16-minute tornado warning to the area before this devastating tornado touched down. This is three minutes sooner than the national average warning of 13 minutes.
Local churches are being used as emergency shelters. Crisis-trained chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team are being deployed to Moore. “Our hearts are breaking for all of those in the path of this horrific tornado. Words can’t do justice to the pain that is being experienced in and around Moore,” said Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. “Please pray continuously for all of those who lost loved ones, and for those who may still be trapped amidst the rubble.”
The Washington Post also provided options to people wanting to donate: The Oklahoma Red Cross is asking people to donate by texting Red Cross to 90999 which will be a $10 donation, spokesman Ken Garcia said, which will allow the Red Cross to purchase supplies. Those looking for family members can visit www.SafeandWell.org.
The Salvation Army is also in the process of mobilizing disaster response units to serve hard-hit areas in Central Oklahoma, including Moore and South Oklahoma City. Donations to the Salvation Army can be made to The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK 73157. Designate Oklahoma Tornado Relief on all checks. Or you can donate by phone (800) 725-2769 or online at donate.salvationarmyusa.org/uss/eds/aok.
Feed The Children is coordinating with other organizations and authorities at the scene to deliver disaster supplies as requests are received. They are accepting donations on site of diapers, canned goods, nonperishable food, water and sports drinks. Donate onsite at the McCormick Distribution Center, 29 N. McCormick. Cash donations to help with relief efforts can be made by phone at 800-627-4556 or online at www.feedthechildren.org/disaster.
In a Fox news clip, the pastor of the local Oak Crest Church of Christ comments on his experience. Click below to view the video.