Monster. That's what they're calling the tornado that barreled through the Oklahoma City area on a spring afternoon Monday, flinging houses and cars into the air, demolishing a school and flattening neighborhoods during a 40-minute romp on the ground.
Scores were killed and injured Monday, and rescuers searched desperately for survivors, including children at the devastated Plaza Towers Elementary School in suburban Moore. Many others, like the child at left, were rescued.
The National Weather Service said the tornado was an EF4, the most powerful on the enhanced Fujita scale with winds of at least 200 mph. The agency said the tornado was at least half a mile wide.
Here are heartbreaking scenes from the monstrous storm.
By Martin Steinberg, CNBC.com, with The Associated Press and Reuters
Updated 22 May 2013
The tornado darkens Monday afternoon skies as it spins over homes in Moore, a community of 41,000 people, 10 miles south of Oklahoma City.
A vehicle lands upside down in Moore. It was the fourth tornado to hit the town since 1998. A tornado there on May 3,1999, killed more than 40 people and destroyed thousands of homes. That tornado ranked as an EF-5, meaning it had winds over 200 mph.
Massive piles of debris cover the ground in Moore. Mayor Glenn Lewis, who was also mayor during the 1999 storm, said the city immediately began recovery efforts.
"We've already started printing the street signs. It took 61 days to clean up after the 1999 tornado. We had a lot of help then. We've got a lot of help now," he said, according to The Associated Press.
What's left of a street in Moore.
The parking lot outside heavily damaged Moore Medical Center.
Flipped vehicles are piled up outside the medical center.
Rescuers search debris in Moore.
A child is pulled from the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School.
Fire burns in the Tower Plaza Addition.
A boy is pulled from the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School.
Yvonne Barragar, Joe Marshall and Barbara Garcia sit in front of Barragar's destroyed house in Moore.
A man sifts through rubble of tornado damaged house.
Lonnie Langston talks about his garage that was swept off the concrete pad next to his house near Shawnee.
Volunteers help clean out Jean McAdams' mobile home near Shawnee after it was overturned.
A volunteer helps clean up McAdams' mobile home.
Dawn arrives in Moore on Tuesday. It's a day after the tornado struck and a day before the second anniversary of the twister that devastated another Tornado Alley city, Joplin, Mo. One hundred fifty-eight people were killed in Joplin. It was the nation's deadliest tornado since modern record keeping began in 1950.