Following yesterday’s devastating tornado in Oklahoma, which killed at least 24 people, weather forecasters are warning of more storms to come. The Weather Channel’s Kevin Roth has predicted “large and devastating tornadoes” from central or eastern Texas to Arkansas.
During Superstorm Sandy, emergency services took to social media to aid victims, and the Moore tornado disaster is already a social storm. Google has put up a crisis map showing the tornado’s path as it crossed from the plains to Moore, on the outskirts of Oklahoma City. Survivors are being urged to sign in to the Red Cross’s Safe and Well page, while Oklahoma City and the state transport authorities are tweeting regular updates. #Oklahoma, #PrayForOklahoma, and “Red Cross” were all trending terms on Twitter Tuesday morning.
A Facebook group has already been set up to help victims find belongings blown away by the 200-mph winds. The page’s founder, Lesley Hagelberg, is urging anyone who finds documents or photos to scan or photograph them and put them on the page so they can be returned to their rightful owners.
Last year, a map showing over half a century of U.S. tornadoes was published, as tracked by the N.O.A.A. Given that the brightest streaks on this map indicate the most powerful storms, yesterday’s–one of the strongest in living memory–will surely be one of the brightest when the map is updated.