Tornado devastates large parts of the United States Midwest

Published: 21 May 2013 9:06 CET

The American Red Cross is helping people in the Midwest with shelter, food, relief supplies and emotional comfort after tornadoes over the weekend destroyed homes and left thousands without power.

As many as 26 tornadoes were reported in Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois and Iowa, according to the National Weather Service. Hardest hit is Oklahoma, where severe tornadoes ripped through several counties, destroying or damaging hundreds of homes and leaving as many as 35,000 in the dark. Most recent estimates suggest 24 people in Oklahoma are dead and a further 120 are being treated in hospital.

 The Governor declared a state of emergency in 16 counties. The Red Cross is supporting first responders and is providing shelter, food, distributing relief items and clean-up supplies and working with local and state officials to ensure people get the help they need.

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