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The fiercest of the tornados was an EF-4 that impacted Cleveland and Pottawatomie counties.

It's been eight years since a disastrous storm pattern sent multiple powerful tornadoes to Oklahoma. On May 19, 2013, eight tornadoes struck the state of Oklahoma. The fiercest of the tornadoes was an EF-4 that impacted Cleveland and Pottawatomie counties. More than 100 homes and structures were destroyed in Pottawatomie County, while another 100 were damaged in Bethel Acres and parts of Shawnee.

Among the structures destroyed by the three-kilometer-wide tornado were two primary schools, which were struck just as pupils were about to be dismissed for the day. Briarwood Elementary School teacher Sherry Biddle detailed how she taught her kids to defend themselves.


Tornado damage On May 19, 2013, eight tornadoes struck the state of Oklahoma.Pixabay

Fact Box Deadliest US Tornadoes Since 1900

"I had them take their backpacks and put them over their heads, just as another safety precaution, in the center of our room, in the center of our building," she said. Briarwood third-grade student Caden talked about what he experienced as the tornado passed."I was on the ground, and I just, my ears just went WHOOO, and I couldn't hear anything except cracking and kids screaming," he said.

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Incredibly, all the students at Briarwood Elementary School have been accounted for. Another school, Plaza Towers, was not so lucky. As of early Tuesday, authorities reported that seven students had died and at least 24 more were missing. Rescuers and parents sought anxiously for surviving children in the aftermath of the storm.

One distraught dad was successful in locating his child. "I'm simply grateful that I was able to locate my son and that my family is safe," he stated. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin stated that "hearts are broken" for parents who are seeking their children. She called in the state National Guard and additional cops to help in the rescue efforts. (VOA/JC)

(This article is a rehash from Voice of America)


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