Among the countless buildings struck by the three-kilometer-wide tornado were two elementary schools,
hit just as students were about to be released for the day.
Sherry Biddle, a teacher at Briarwood Elementary School,
described how she helped her students protect themselves.
Deadliest U.S. Tornadoes Since 1900.
"I had them take their backpacks and put them over their heads,
just as another safety precaution , in the center of our room,
in the center of our building," she said.
Briarwood third-grade student Caden talked about what he experienced as the tornado passed.
"I was on the ground, and I just,
my ears just went WHOOO, and I couldn't hear anything except cracking and kids screaming," he said.
Incredibly ,all the students at Briarwood Elementary School have been accounted for.
Another school, Plaza Towers, was not so lucky.
Comparison of Tornado paths in Moore, Oklahoma—May 3, 1999 and May 20, 2013.
As of early Tuesday, police said seven students had died there and at least 24 were missing.
In the chaos following the storm, rescuers and parents searched frantically for surviving children.
One emotional parent was able to locate his child.
"I'm just happy that I was able to find my son and that my family's okay," he said.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said "hearts are broken'' for parents looking for their children.
She deployed the state National Guard and extra police to assist with rescue operations.
a strong, dangerous wind that forms itself into an upside-down spinning cone and is able to destroy buildings as it moves across the ground
The entire village was obliterated by the tornado.
an action that is done to prevent something unpleasant or dangerous happening
You should take an umbrella just as a precaution.
the process of getting knowledge or skill from doing, seeing, or feeling things:
He has had no previous experience in this kind of job.
impossible, or very difficult, to believe
I think it's incredible.
a state of total confusion with no order
The wintry weather has caused chaos on the roads.