A 2-mile-wide (3-km-wide) tornado tore through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on Monday, killing more than 90 people including 20 children, destroying entire tracts of homes and trapping two dozen school children beneath rubble.
Witnesses said Monday's tornado appeared more fierce than the giant twister that was among the dozens that tore up the region on May 3, 1999, killing more than 40 people and destroying thousands of homes.
The force of the storm was so powerful that it even tossed houses upside down. It ripped through scores of buildings in the suburb of Moore in a region of the US known as Tornado Alley. Block after block lay in ruins.
Cars and big trucks were tossed around by the massive tornado, leaving trail of devastation along the highway.
Several houses in the suburb were completely flattened by the tornado. Because of the hard ground, few homes are built with basements in which residents can take cover. Rescue teams fear there could be more people trapped inside the rubble.
Police and fire crews pulled some school children from the devastation. Oklahoma University Medical Center alone was treating 65 patients, 45 of them children.
Rescue teams raced against the setting sun and worked into the darkness in search of survivors as the dangerous storm system threatened several southern Plains states with more twisters.