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Shocking before and after images reveal how giant tornado ripped apart Joplin's city landmarks
By JOHN STEVENS
©The aftermath: A 198mph tornado tore a path a mile wide and six miles long straight through Joplin, Missouri devastating all in its wake
Devastating 198mph tornado tore a path a mile wide and six miles long straight through Joplin, Missouri
Deadliest single tornado in more than 60 years with at least 125 people killed
1,500 people still remain unaccounted for, according to fire officials
'This is a very serious situation brewing,' warns Storm Prediction Center as forecasters say city could be hit again
Tornado was rare 'multivortex' twister, reveals National Weather Service
Obama to visit region on Sunday as he says tornado was 'devastating and heartbreaking'
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The way things used to be: This Google Street Map view shows the same place as the above picture, before the horrific tornado struck
As shell-shocked residents of tornado-hit Joplin braced themselves for another powerful storm system this evening, new aerial images emerged showing in terrifying detail the path of the twister which destroyed the Missouri city.
The shocking photos reveal for the first time the true extent of the damage caused when the mile-wide tornado that killed at least 122 people blasted much of the city off the map and slammed straight into its hospital.
Forecasters warned residents on Tuesday to prepare themselves for a looming storm system that has all the early signs of spawning more deadly tornadoes.
©Devastated: Aerial photo shows 26th street, the main route through the centre of Joplin, Missouri. On the right is St Mary's elementary school
©Housing: Whole residential neighbourhoods were destroyed by the powerful tornado when it went straight through the centre of the city that has has 50,000 people
Tonight the stunned residents of Joplin faced the horrifying possibility of more storms - but a tornado warning was cancelled later in the evening.
‘This is a very serious situation brewing,’ said Russell Schneider, director of the Storm Prediction Center.
About 1,500 people are still unaccounted for, it was announced Tuesday, leading to fears that the death count could rise much higher.
Tonight tornadoes touched down in Kansas and Oklahoma - including one on the outskirts of Oklahoma City, which reportedly tore a 50-mile long path through rush-hour traffic.
©Blown away: The remains of this apartment block surround what was once a swimming pool. Around 2,000 homes are thought to have been destroyed
©Closed for business: The Home Depot do-it-yourself store was where many dead bodies have been recovered. Many of the shop shelves are still intact though
©Grocery store: The city's Walmart superstore is barely recognisable in this photo from after Sunday's tornado that killed over 100 people
©Shopping mall: This line of shops was severely damaged by the storm system when it struck on Sunday evening at around 6pm
©Hospital: The St John's Medical Center was at the heart of the tornado's path through the city. Hundreds of patients had to be evacuated
Fire chief Robert Daus said that 500 people had been injured by the tornado, in addition to the 1,500 people who remain unaccounted for.
But he said the high number of people still recorded as missing could be a reflection of the widespread breakdown of communication systems in the city.
Thunderstorms that are moving across southeast Kansas, central Oklahoma and north Texas this afternoon are forecast to move into the Joplin area between 10pm and 2am tonight.
©Destroyed: This incredible aerial image reveals how the tornado tore off the roof of Joplin's Home Depot
©Flattened: This aerial photograph shows the scale of the destruction to the Home Depot store
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Flattened: Damage is seen a day after the tornado tore through Joplin killing at least 122 people in Joplin, a town of about 50,000
©Decimation: Residential buildings are shown flattened in this aerial shot over Joplin
©Razed to the ground: Joplin's Walmart store was completely destroyed by Sunday's devastating twister
©Wasteland: The horror of Sunday's tornado is laid bare by this harrowing panoramic shot of Joplin
©Horseshoe: A destroyed neighbourhood is seen in Joplin on Tuesday after a big tornado moved through much of the city
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Ruins: The winding path of the devastating tornado is seen in this aerial picture of Joplin, Missouri
©Savaged: The path of the powerful tornado is seen in an aerial photo over Joplin, Missouri
©Destroyed: The tornado ruined thousands of houses in Joplin, Missouri
©From the sky: Uprooted trees and building without roofs lie devastated in Joplin, Missouri after the tornado hit on Sunday
©Flattened: Members of Missouri Task Force One search-and-rescue team work at the tornado-damaged Home Depot store in Joplin
©Shock: Joplin residents are still coming to terms with the loss of their homes as rescue workers continue efforts to find survivors
©Recovery: Beverly Winans, left, Debbie Spurlin and Austin Spurlin look for what they can salvage from their home after it was destroyed
©Lost: Carra Reed looks at a friends home that was destroyed when the massive tornado passed through Joplin, Missouri
©Missing: Rescue workers and neighbours search for victims and survivors
The President says he wants Midwesterners whose lives were disrupted by the deadly storms last weekend to know that the federal government will use all resources at its disposal to help them recover and rebuild.
Obama spoke in London, the second stop on his four-country, six-day tour of Europe.
Obama is due back in Washington Saturday night.
©Little hope: Ryan Harper pauses in the shadow of a splintered tree as he searches for a missing friend after who may have been pulled away by the twister
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A time for coming together: A couple drenched by the heavy rain walk arm-in-arm towards a building ravaged by the killer storm, and right, a woman whose life has been shattered overnight by the tornado breaks down in tears and has to be comforted by a friend
©Frantic: Volunteers claw through the rubble in search of survivors, but grey storm clouds loom overhead threatening to disrupt the efforts
©'Heartbreaking': Barack Obama, speaking in London today, vowed to visit Missouri on Sunday to console victims
President Barack Obama called Nixon after details of teh tragedy emergedand offered his condolences to those affected, assuring the governor that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would provide whatever assistance was needed.
'Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the families of all those who lost their lives in the tornadoes and severe weather that struck Joplin, Missouri, as well as communities across the Midwest today,' the President said in a statement sent from Air Force One as he flew to Europe.
'We commend the heroic efforts by those who have responded and who are working to help their friends and neighbours at this very difficult time.'
©New dawn: The sun rises over devastated Joplin on Tuesday as the search for survivors continues
©Heartache: Two women fight back the tears as they hug in front of a house ripped apart by the tornado. In a symbolic show of strength, the U.S. flag flies from a tree behind them
©Wiped off the landscape: Meghan Miller stands in the middle of a destroyed neighbourhood as she checks on her sister-in-law's home, which only days before had stood in the same spot
source: dailymail