Joplin tornado death toll rises to 132


This has been one of the most catastrophic events in recent history here in the United States. Hopefully the federal government will step up in a BIG way to help the people affected by this monster tornado. And by this I don’t mean sending water and first aid supplies. I’m talking about sending billions of dollars in aid that goes directly to the families and small businesses affected, so that people can re-build their homes and move on with their lives.

If our government can send hundreds of millions of dollars to places such as Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti and the like each and every year, they can certainly do the same for American citizens on U.S. soil. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Reuters

By Elliott Blackburn Fri May 27, 9:08 pm ET

JOPLIN (Reuters) – The death toll from the monster tornado that tore through Joplin on Sunday rose to 132 on Friday after six more victims were identified, Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr said.

The tornado, already the deadliest single twister in the United States since 1947, injured more than 900 people, though officials said that figure could be higher because some people did not got to hospitals.

Some 156 people were still unaccounted for on Friday, as dozens were confirmed alive, six were determined to be dead and others were reported missing and added to the list of names authorities had released on Thursday, officials said.

“We are working around the clock to expedite this process so that families can have their loved ones returned to them,” Missouri Deputy Director of Public Safety Andrea Spillars said.

Authorities also said the remains of only 19 of the dead have been identified and released to families.

There has been rising frustration in Joplin that families were unable to view the bodies in morgues or get answers on the fate of their loved ones. Spillars confirmed family members are not being admitted to the morgue to view the dead.

Many of the bodies are in such poor condition that officials said they are using fingerprints, medical records, distinctive tattoos, DNA and other methods to identify them.

Investigators were also using tips from family and friends as well as Facebook and other social media posts to separate the missing from the dead.

“It is not necessary for family members to actually go out to the morgue to identify bodies,” Spillars said.

The tornado that hit Joplin on Sunday was rated an EF-5 or the strongest possible. It scored a direct hit on the city of 50,000 people in southwest Missouri and left a swath of destruction nearly a mile wide, damaging some 8,000 buildings.

St. John’s Hospital, one of two Joplin hospitals, sustained heavy damage and hospital officials said Friday it was beyond renovation. They plan to open a 60-bed mobile hospital Sunday and officials said teams were evaluating new Joplin sites.

(Additional reporting by David Bailey; Writing by Greg McCune; Editing by Jerry Norton)

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