Ten children, two of them just infants, are among those who have been confirmed dead after a mile-wide tornado tore through central Oklahoma on Monday and devastated the town of Moore, according to the state's office of the chief medical examiner.
In a statement provided to The Huffington Post by email, the office released the names and ages of the victims and confirmed that the death toll stands at 24.
"Our hearts go out to all the people affected by this tragedy," the statement reads. "The ME staff worked throughout the night and yesterday in coordination with state and federal agencies to identify victims and document injuries."
Many of the victims died from blunt force trauma, or from asphyxiation. The full list with the names and ages of the victims whose identities have been released are as follows:
Terri Long, 49
Megan Futrell, 29
Case Futrell, 4 months
Shannon Quick, 40
Sydnee Vargyas, 7 months
Karrina Vargyas, 4
Jenny Neely, 38
Antonia Canderaria, 9
Kyle Davis, 8
Janae Hornsby, 9
Sydney Angle, 9
Emily Conatzer, 9
Nicolas McCabe, 9
Christopher Legg, 9
Cindy Plumley, 45
Deanna Ward, 70
Rick Jones, 54
William Sass, 63
Gina Stromski, 51
Tewauna Robinson, 45
Randy Smith, 39
Leslie Johnson, 46
Hemant Bhonde, 65
Richard Brown, 41
UPDATE: 5/23 10:07 a.m. This list has been updated to reflect the additional names the medical examiner's office released to The Huffington Post upon identifying all of the victims.
PHOTOS of identified victims:
A family photo showing Daniel Angle from left, Sydney Angle, Nicole Angle, Jory Pratt and Casey Angle is seen on May 22, 2013, in Moore, Okla. Sydney Angle was killed when a powerful tornado destroyed Plaza Towers Elementary School and ripped through the town Monday, destroying homes, schools and businesses, and killing several people, including children. “She was always smiling,” her father Dan told NewsOK. She also loved softball. Last weekend, she struck out five batters in her final game. The Sydney Angle Fund will cover funeral and medical costs and other immediate family needs. (Joshua Lott / AFP / Getty Images)
Kathryn Begay served in WWII. She had in shakeable faith in Jesus Christ. She loved to fish and garden and she loved her family unconditionally. She had amazing strength and fought till the very end. Read her obituary here.
Hemant Bhonde, 65, was sheltering with his wife in their bathroom before he died. Bhonde was a retired GM worker who emigrated from India several decades ago, according to NewsOK. The Bhondes lived across the street from the Plaza Towers school. His wife Jerrie, told CNN, "I know my husband's with me. He had a bright light that wouldn't be put out, and he'll be with me for the rest of my life." Image via Twitter.
Aontonia Canderaria 9, died at Plaza Towers Elementary while sheltered with her best friend Emily Conatzer. Canderaria's funeral was the first to be held for tornado victims following Monday's tragedy. According to her obituary, "[Canderaria and Emily Conatzer] were inseparable, even in their last moments, they held on to one another and followed each other into Heaven and they will never be alone." (Courtesy of Brandie Candelaria / AP)
Emily Conatzer, 9, (right) died at Plaza Towers Elementary School. The third-grader was reportedly found in the arms of her best friend, Antonia Lee Candelaria, who also died in the tragedy. The Conatzer Family Tornado Relief Fund will help the family rebuild the home they lost and cover immediate family needs. Image via Kristi Strickland Conatzer's Facebook profile.
In this November 2012 photo provided by the his family, 8-year-old tornado victim Kyle Davis poses for a photo while attending an Oklahoma University football game at Owen Field, in Norman, Okla. Nicknamed "The Wall," Davis loved playing soccer and going with his grandfather to the fair grounds to watch Monster Truck exhibitions. Kyle was killed Monday, May 20, 2013, when a huge tornado roared through Moore, Okla., flattening entire neighborhoods and destroying Kyle's elementary school with a direct blow as children and teachers huddled against winds up to 200 mph. (The Kyle Davis Family / AP)
Megan Futrell, 29, died, along with her 4-month-old child, Case, (not pictured) while sheltered in a 7-Eleven. Megan Futrell is survived by her 8-year-old son, Kanon, and her husband, Cody. Image via Megan Billingsley Futrell's Facebook profile.
Ja'Nae Hornsby was one of seven children who died at Plaza Towers Elementary. According to KOCO, "Janae's father described her as a vivacious, lovable little girl who loves to play and always has a smile on her face."
Leslie Johnson died at age 46. Pictured: Leslie Johnson and Tewauna Robinson. Image via Marissa Collins-Jarred
Christopher Legg, 9, was a Plaza Towers Elementary School student who loved sports, according to an obituary. "He was greatly loved by all who knew him. He never met a stranger, because you were always a friend in his eyes." The Ross & Danni Legg Family Tornado Relief Fund will help the family rebuild their home. Image via Ross & Danni Legg Family Tornado Relief Fund
Terri Long, 49, was a Federal Aviation Administration employee in Oklahoma City, according to an obituary. "Terri loved traveling, photography, anything Harley Davidson, and helping others. She loved to read and camped out to see the Twilight series with her daughters." Image via Dignity Memorial
Nicolas McCabe, 9, was a student at Plaza Towers Elementary. "He was a bright young man with an ornery grin who adored his family and friends at Plaza Towers Elementary. Nicolas loved Legos, country music, and going to the lake where he desired to have his own 'Pontoon boat' one day," according to an obituary. The Nicolas Scott McCabe Fund will help cover funeral and home rebuilding costs. Image via gofundme.com.
Jenny Neely, 38, was sheltering with her son Jacob when she was killed, according to News On 6. Jacob's father, Michael Neely said, "She was a great mother. I couldn't have had a better mother for my kids." Image via News On 6
Cindy Plumely, 49, is remembered as a loving mother and grandmother, according to KFOR. "Cindy was an LPN and worked at the Veteran's Center in Norman, OK.," according to an obituary. Image via Dignity Memorial.
Shannon Quick, 40, loved watching her son's baseball games, according to an obituary. "She loved cooking and was known for putting together a tasty Crock-Pot dinner for her family." Her mother, Joy Waldroop, 61, reportedly told The Oklahoman, "I couldn't ask for a better daughter. She cared for her family." The Shannon Quick Fund will cover medical bills for Shannon's mother, Joi Waldroop, and her 8-year-old nephew, Jackson Quick, who was injured and needs surgery on his shin, pelvis, femur and buttocks. The fund will also help rebuild the home they lost, Jeremy Soulek, Shannon's brother, told HuffPost. Shannon Quick. Image via Jeremy Soulek
Tewauna Robinson died at the age of 45. Her daughter, Angeletta Santiago, last heard from her mother on Monday during the storm, according to KSDK. "I love you," Robinson told her before hanging up. Image via KSDK.com.
Randy Smith, 39, was an electrician who "loved to spend time with his family, especially his son, Dylan," according to KFOR. Image via Legacy.com
Karrina, 4, and her sister Sydnee, 7 months, were among the 10 children killed by the storm. They were at home with their mother, who survived the ordeal. The children's father, Phillip Vargyas, told the Daily Mail, "We just don’t know what to do anymore." Image via KCEN-TV.
Gina Stromski died at the age of 51. Image via Resthaven Funeral Home
Richard Brown died at the age of 41.
Rick Jones, 54, was a postal worker who "worked evenings processing mail in Oklahoma City and lived alone in Moore," according to NewsOK. He was "well-liked," reported The Norman Transcript.
William Sass died at the age of 63.
Deanna Ward died at the age of 70. The Associated Press reports: Ward was described by her daughter, Shelly Irvin, as the "best mom in the world." She died in Monday's storm in the closet of her home about a block from Plaza Elementary School while holding hands with her son. Her son survived. Ward was a retired nurse and was frail, and Irvin told The Oklahoman her son did not have enough time to get their mother into a car and leave the area. "My brother and I have been through a lot of struggles and she never gave up on us. She was always there," Irvin told the newspaper.
All people thought missing have been accounted for at this time.— Governor Mary Fallin (@GovMaryFallin) 2 years ago
Updated fatalities, deaths and missing persons: The 5/20 tornado has lead to: 377 injuries
24 deaths.— Governor Mary Fallin (@GovMaryFallin) 2 years ago
Shaunta Strong has worked 2 days straight. Making sandwiches for victims & first responders. twitter.com/KatyJBlakey/st…— Katy Blakey (@KatyJBlakey) May 23, 2013
While the Moore Medical Center crumbled around her on Monday afternoon, Shay-la Taylor was in labor with her second baby boy.
The mom-to-be knew about the severe weather watch as she checked into the hospital to be induced at 9 a.m. that morning, but says she wasn’t really nervous.
“We’re used to tornadoes and sirens,” the 25-year-old mom told HuffPost in a phone interview. “If you freaked out every time you heard a siren, you’d have an anxiety attack every May in Oklahoma.”
Click here to read the rest of her tale.
--Farah L. Miller
Sprinkles Cupcakes in Los Angeles plans to donate all of the proceeds from their (ever-popular) Red Velvet cupcake sold on May 22 to support Oklahomans affected by Monday's tornado.
"As a native Oklahoman with my parents and brother still living in Oklahoma City, I am especially heartbroken by this devastating tragedy," Charles Nelson, co-founder of Sprinkles, stated on Facebook.
For more, click here.
Basketball player Kevin Durant viewed tornado-damaged homes in Moore, Okla., on Wednesday. The Oklahoma City Thunder star also donated million to the American Red Cross for relief efforts. The Thunder later matched the million donation. (Sue Ogrocki / AP)
The post office branch in Moore, Okla., was one of the thousands of buildings damaged or destroyed by Monday's twister. To help residents impacted by the disaster, the US Postal Service is setting up mail service alternatives in the area, News9.com reported.
Some of the options being offered include held mail, portable post offices and delivery service through an alternative office nearby. Letter carriers will also attempt to deliver mail wherever possible.
Click here for more.
HuffPost's Lynne Peeples reports:
Chris Whitley had already survived three tornadoes and had worked at the scene of dozens more before arriving in Joplin, Mo.
"It was unlike anything I'd ever seen," the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spokesman recalled of the devastation left by the deadly twister that struck the town two years ago Wednesday.
"So far," he added, "pictures from Moore are very eerily familiar."
As they did in the wake of the Joplin tornado, Whitley and other experts are warning of dangers that may not be obvious in photographs of the wreckage in Moore, Okla., where a mile-wide tornado tore through the town and took the lives of at least 24 people on Monday.
In addition to rusty nails, shattered glass, falling debris and loose wires, hazards such as cancer-causing asbestos and neurotoxic lead can be stirred up by the violent winds and by recovery efforts themselves. Such risks may raise the toll of death and injury over the days, even decades, ahead.
HuffPost's Saki Knafo reports:
“I’m being totally honest with you,” Darius, 15, said. “I don’t even know where we are.”
The wreckage left by the mile-wide tornado that swept across central Oklahoma, killing at least 24 people, is so comprehensive and so jumbled that it challenges the very concept of rebuilding. So little is left that it’s hard to know where to start. Thousands of people are now homeless, their houses battered beyond recognition and their futures far from clear.
For Darius, a sense of dislocation is nothing new. Until he was 8, he lived in an apartment in New Orleans. Then Hurricane Katrina hit, and he and his mom evacuated to Houston, before resettling here, in the suburbs of Oklahoma City.
His mother’s constant fights with his stepdad prompted him to seek refuge. In February, he moved into a spare room in Brandon’s home a few blocks away, effectively becoming part of the Dick family. For the first time in his life, he had a place he called home.
Now, it's gone.
Gov. Mary Fallin's office now reporting 353 injuries from Monday's tornado. Death count remains @ 24 fatalities. Praying for all affected.— Linda Cavanaugh (@linda4news) 3 years ago
HuffPost's Ben Hallman reports from Moore:
Judy Peterson has big plans for restoring her home, which was damaged in the brutal tornado that devastated this community on Monday. A man at her church has volunteered to remove the pear tree that fell on her driveway and her son-in-law, a contractor, has promised to help repair her roof and windows.
But on Wednesday afternoon, she was sitting on the pavement with her daughter in the bright sunshine at an intersection leading into her neighborhood. She had been there for a while. As with some 80 or so other residents milling around here, police had prevented Peterson from returning to her home to gather valuables and begin to clean up.
“It’s frustrating to be here because there is so much else we could be doing,” Peterson said. “I’m trying to be open-minded about the whole thing.”
Shayla Taylor was in the middle of labor on the second floor of Moore medical when the tornado hit, but baby wasn't on her brain.
Her family, including her husband were sent downstairs to the cafeteria, but Shayla was too far along to be moved. Moments later: a direct hit.
HuffPost's Michael McAuliff reports:
Oklahoma's senators can thank sequestration, and perhaps more importantly, funding for Superstorm Sandy cleanup that they opposed, for sparing them from a difficult vote on disaster aid for tornado-ravaged Oklahomans.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) argued that an aid bill for the Sooner State would be totally different than the Sandy bill. And Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) argued in an interview Wednesday that Oklahomans will get whatever they need from the federal government without new help because the the Federal Emergency Management Agency has ".8 billion sitting on the side."
"We're not going to come close to that with this," Coburn said on CBS. "Oklahomans like to care for their own, and we'll take the help that's appropriate."
The Associated Press says the state medical examiner's office has released a complete list of the names and ages of the 24 people killed in the tornado. Click here for the full list.
William H. Macy, his wife, Felicity Huffman, and other members of the Rudderless movie cast and crew reached out to help Oklahomans after the recent tornadoes.
The stars were here shooting a pivotal scene on location at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond.
Suzanne Haley, a teacher's aide at Briarwood Elementary School, was impaled in her leg while protecting students during the Moore, Okla. tornado. The school was in the direct path of the twister and completely destroyed, but there were no fatalities.
Click here to read more. The post does include graphic photos.
Moore, Oklahoma mayor: All missing accounted for; Of the 6 who were still missing, 5 are OK. http://t.co/d19E3277jO— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) 6 years ago
Memorial and prayer service for tornado victims announced. https://t.co/HJ9aHdlIhU— Governor Mary Fallin (@GovMaryFallin) 2 years ago
Megan Futrell, a 29-year-old mother of two, died in Monday's tornado with her 4-month-old child, Case, according to a statement emailed to The Huffington Post by the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
Futrell and her baby were killed when the roof collapsed on a 7-Eleven, where the two were sheltered in a walk-in cooler, the Oklahoman reports. Just minutes before, Futrell had grabbed Case from a babysitter and run inside the store to wait out the tornado. She realized she couldn't outrun the storm in her car, the paper notes.
Click here to read more.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has asked for "swift and immediate" aid following the Oklahoma tornado and asked lawmakers to set aside partisanship and any "political retribution."
City of Moore-roads will be open after 3 PM. Must show ID/credentials to get into the neighborhoods.— City of Moore (@cityofmoore) 2 years ago
Amy Elliot of the OK Medical Examiner Office is asking for help returning 8 deceased to their loved ones. Contact them at 405-239-4171— KFOR (@kfor) 5 years ago
Six people unaccounted for following Monday's Oklahoma tornado, official says http://t.co/d19E3277jO— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) 6 years ago
Speaking with the Daily Mail, the childrens' father, Phillip Vargyas, still sounded dazed.
"We just don’t know what to do anymore," he said, adding, "At this point we have a lot of things to do, little things to do for the girls. ... We are trying to move in the right direction but it’s hard to know where to go at all, what to do."
Photo courtesy of: KCEN-TV.
Rep. Tom Cole on bipartisan tornado response: "I have gotten more texts from both sides of the aisle on this than over my entire career combined."
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said the federal government will financially support clean up efforts following the Moore tornado.
"The federal government will assume 85 percent of the cost for the first 30 days, 80 percent for the next 60 days. That will allow the state and communities to draw funds very quickly."