From VOA Learning English, this is In the News.
People in Moore, Oklahoma, are starting to rebuild after a three-kilometer-wide tornado hit the city on Monday. Officials say the storm killed 24 people in Moore and nearby areas. More than 200 others were injured.
President Obama declared a major disaster in Oklahoma. His declaration freed up federal money to help state officials with the recovery effort. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin deployed the state National Guard and extra police to assist with rescue operations. She described the tornado as one of the "most horrific" disasters her state has ever faced.
"In many places, homes were absolutely destroyed, taken away. There's just sticks and bricks, basically. It's hard to tell if there was a structure there or not. If you get into some of the major neighborhoods, you can't tell where the streets were.
The street signs are gone. And that's been a big challenge for us -- being able to determine which area of a community we might be in because the streets are just gone, the signs are just gone."
Weather experts say the tornado had wind speeds of at least 322 kilometers an hour. It left a path of destruction stretching close to 30 kilometers. The storm flattened large parts of Moore, a city of 60,000 people. A record-setting tornado hit Moore in May of 1999.
On Monday Alfredo Corrales crowded into a small underground shelter with his family and a neighbor.
"Me and the neighbor were just holding on to the hatch, just to keep the door secure. And that wind was blowing over, and the wind was just sucking up on the door. And when it was doing that, the rain was just shooting down into the cellar."
The storm hit two elementary schools just as students were preparing to leave for the day. Both schools were crushed, leaving many children trapped in the wreckage.
"It was just thump, thump and the roof came off. And then I left something and then it was raining, clay on me and all that."
Rescue workers dug through the wreckage and pulled several children out alive.
Quick-thinking teachers are credited with saving lives by moving students to closed spaces before the storm destroyed the building. Sherry Biddle teaches at Briarwood. She described how she helped her students protect themselves.
"I had them take their backpacks and put them over their heads, just as another safety precaution, as they were down in the center of our room, in the center of our building."
But seven children were killed when the tornado destroyed Plaza Towers Elementary School.
Susan Pierce is superintendent of Moore public schools. She said many lives were saved because every school followed sheltering directions.
"Our administrators, staff, teachers and students put our crisis plan into action immediately. We monitored the weather throughout the day and when it was time to shelter, we did just that."
Oklahoma officials say the current warning system provided enough time to prepare before the tornado hit. But many people lost everything they owned.
There is debate about whether all schools in Oklahoma should be required to have tornado shelters. Some say even the best built shelter might not have protected against Monday's tornado. The National Weather Service rated the tornado an EF-5. That is the most powerful kind of storm on the five-level scale that measures a tornado's power. It was the second deadliest tornado in the United States since 2011, when 161 people were killed in Joplin, Missouri.
Join us next Tuesday for more about tornadoes on the VOA Learning English program Science in the News.
That’s In The News. I’m Steve Ember.
Police evacuated nearby buildings.
The infantry began to deploy at dawn.
3.absolutely adv. 绝对地；完全地
I trust his discretion absolutely.
4.determine v. 决定；确定；判定；终止
I determined that I would ask him outright.
5.stretch v. 伸展；使变大，撑大；延伸
The prairies stretch on all sides as far as the eye can see.
6.secure adj. 安全的；安心的；有把握的；牢固的
He found a secure foothold and pulled himself up.
The film was rated excellent by 90 per cent of children...
1.His declaration freed up federal money to help state officials with the recovery effort.
That would free up space for crops, which are far more profitable.
2.Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin deployed the state National Guard and extra police to assist with rescue operations.
assist with帮助（照料， 做）， 在…给予帮助
Can I assist you with these parcels?
3.Some say even the best built shelter might not have protected against Monday's tornado.
—What has happened to George?
—I don't know. He may have got lost.
He might have given you more help, even though he was busy.
She might have achieved greater progress, if you had given her more chances.
奥巴马总统宣布俄克拉荷马遭遇重大灾难。他宣布拨付联邦资金帮助州政府官员进行灾后恢复工作 。俄克拉荷马州州长玛丽·法琳(MaryFallin)部署州国民警卫队和更多警力协助救援行动 。她称这次龙卷风是俄克拉荷马州曾经面临的“最可怕的”灾难之一 。
“在许多地方，家园完全被毁，不复存在，只剩砖瓦。很难判断是否还有基本的建筑结构 。如果你进入主要的社区，你根本不知道哪里是街道，街道标志已经不在了 。我们面临的一个重大挑战就是确定我们在哪个社区，因为街道消失了，街道标志不在了 。”
天气专家表示，这次龙卷风的风速为每小时至少322千米，途经的接近30千米遭到毁坏。这次飓风导致拥有60,000人口的摩尔镇大部分地区夷为平地 。1999年5月，摩尔镇也曾经遭遇创纪录的龙卷风袭击 。
思维很快的教师应该受到赞誉，他们在龙卷风将建筑摧毁之前迅速把学生们转移到密闭的空间。Sherry Biddle在布莱尔伍德任教 。她描述了自己如何帮助学生们自我保护 。
Susan Pierce是摩尔公立学校的负责人。她表示，由于每一所学校都遵循了庇护指引，许多生命得到拯救 。
关于是否要求俄克拉荷马州所有学校都建立龙卷风庇护所还有所争议。一些人表示，即使最好的庇护所可能也难以抵挡周一的龙卷风 。美国国家天气局将这次龙卷风评定为EF-5级 。用来评定龙卷风破坏力的系统共分为五级，EF-5是最高级别 。