Gigantic tornado kills 116 in Midwest

At least 116 people have been killed after a tornado ripped through Missouri, USA.

The massive twister also destroyed a local school and turned a number of homes to rubble in the Midwest city of Joplin.

The death toll is expected to rise further, according to Newton County Coroner Mark Bridges.

People sifted through the rubble searching for family and friends after the storm tore buildings apart on Sunday.

The St John Regional Medical Centre hospital, took a direct hit and huge chunk pulled out of the building’s fabric.

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Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency.

President Barack Obama sent his “deepest condolences” to victims.

In a statement he said: “Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the families of all those who lost their lives in the tornadoes and severe weather that struck Joplin, Missouri as well as communities across the Midwest today.”

Scott Meeker, a journalist with the Joplin Globe, told Reuter: “It’s a war zone. We’ve got hundreds of wounded being treated but they were quickly overwhelmed and ran out of supplies so they’ve opened up a local school as a triage centre.”

Tornadoes overnight on Saturday in north-east Kansas killed one person and damaged some 200 structures. A state of emergency was declared for 16 counties, state officials said.