US tornado toll at 134, no more missing | world | Hindustan Times
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US tornado toll at 134, no more missing

world Updated: Jun 03, 2011 02:31 IST

Officials have located all the people reported missing in the wake of the deadliest single tornado to strike the United States and 134 victims have been identified, Missouri's governor said on Wednesday.

The mile-wide May 22 twister reduced a third of the Missouri town of Joplin to rubble, tearing apart homes, businesses, a hospital and schools along a four-mile (six-kilometer) path of destruction.

With phone services knocked out and families scattered in search of a safe place to sleep, the governor asked the state patrol to help sort through thousands of request for help finding missing loved ones.

"Our troopers worked 24/7 to locate these individuals and to bring relief to the families of the living, and closure to the families of those who died," Governor Jay Nixon said Wednesday.

But while there is no one left on the official list of the missing, crews continue to search the rubble for victims or even survivors even as they shift their focus to cleanup 10 days after the tornado struck.

"We have not given up hope. We will proceed with the hope of a miracle occurring," said Mark Rohr, city manager of Joplin.

Although 146 sets of human remains were discovered, the final death toll may be lower because some of the partial remains could be from the same individuals, officials have said.

Some 268 missing persons reports were filed with the highway patrol and 144 of those people were found alive. The remaining 124 were found among the dead at a makeshift morgue.

Ten other victims died in hospital or were taken to funeral homes after the storm which also injured more than 900 people.

President Barack Obama toured the damaged city Sunday and promised residents the country would stand by them "every step of the way" as rebuilding efforts begin.