Monster tornado touches down in Oklahoma

Woman carries a child amid tornado damage in Moore, OK, USA, 20 May 2013 (AP)

Woman carries a child amid tornado damage in Moore, OK, USA, 20 May 2013 (AP)

The American heartland state of Oklahoma is used to tornadoes but not one quite like this.

The U.S. National Weather Service says the tornado that hit the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore was a top-of-the-scale EF-5 twister with winds of at least 322 kilometres per hour.

Authorities say 24 people, including nine children, were killed when the tornado flattened homes and demolished an elementary school yesterday.

The tornado’s path was 27 kilometres long and two kilometres wide.

The twister is the first EF-5 tornado of 2013 to hit the United States.

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