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Pope Praying for Children, Others Struck by Oklahoma Tornado (1867)

There are children among the dead, but officials said the death toll is expected to increase, in wake of tornado that hit the southern Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on May 20.

05/21/2013 Comments (2)
Brett Deering/Getty Images

Carlos and Kim Caudillo stand in the debris of their home after a powerful tornado ripped through the area on May 20 in Moore, Okla.

– Brett Deering/Getty Images

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis sent special condolences to those parents who lost their children in a tornado in Oklahoma.

“I am close to the families of all who died in the Oklahoma tornado, especially those who lost young children,” the Pope said on his Twitter account on May 21.

“Join me in praying for them,” he added.

Pope Francis also tweeted the same message in Spanish.

Earlier in the day, during his morning Mass in the Vatican, the Pope personally added a prayer intention for the tornado victims and those who are missing, especially the children.

The death toll keeps changing, as more are recovered following the tornado that hit the southern Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on May 20.

The tornado, which was two miles wide at its greatest, touched down at 2:56pm and lashed the area for 45 minutes with winds of up to 200 mph.

It destroyed homes, businesses, the local hospital and other buildings, including Plaza Towers Elementary School.

Local hospitals have treated at least 145 people in Oklahoma City.

President Barack Obama declared the area a major disaster and will be sending federal aid.

In May 1999, Moore was hit by a tornado that broke records with a wind speed of 302 mph.

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