Joplin tornado death toll rises to 132

12:31, May 28, 2011      

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The authorities of Joplin city in the U.S. state of Missouri on Friday updated the death toll to 132 from the deadliest single tornado that battered the city in the evening of May 22.

Meanwhile, the number of missing people totaled 156, down from 232 a day earlier.

An official of Missouri Public Safety said that at least 90 people on the original missing list have been found alive, but some new names have been added to the list.

Meanwhile, medical records and fingerprints are being used to identify victims.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said that as of Friday morning, more than 2,500 Missourians affected by Sunday's tornadoes had applied for federal assistance to help with home repairs and cover other personal losses.

The agency reported that more than 2.8 million U.S. dollars worth of assistance has already been approved. The FEMA has conducted preliminary assessments of storm damage elsewhere, including Minnesota, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Joplin on Sunday, to meet with state and local officials as well as families affected by the disaster.

The tornado, which was gauged as five on the enhanced Fujita scale, touched down into the heart of the Midwest city near 6 p.m. on Sunday, killing many people and destroying thousands of buildings. In the last month, tornadoes killed more than 300 people and caused damage worth more than two billion dollars in the U.S. South.

Source: Xinhua
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