By now you've heard of the tornado that hit Joplin, Mo., last night, killing at least 89 people in what's been called the most deadly U.S. tornado in 58 years. This morning, the rest of the world is reliving it through video made by its victims.
As the photo above taken by a Texas pastor shows, the force of the mile-wide twister defies description. The city's main hospital and business district took a direct hit; injured people overwhelmed the city's treatment center, and at least three schools were destroyed, including the high school — which was fortunate enough to hold its graduation ceremony Sunday at a nearby college.
Hailing from southwest Missouri, I'm shocked so many people perished despite a long tradition of preparing for tornadoes. Reports indicate residents had 20 minutes of warning, but even those that were able to take shelter may not have been able to escape from a twister this powerful.
This harrowing audio was taken by a man in a Fastrip convenience store, where customers had to take refuge in a walk-in freezer when the tornado hit, and captures the sheer terror of what Joplin residents went through. The local Red Cross chapter is accepting donations and other aid here.
Photo: Chris Railey via Twitter