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Six of the worst twisters in US history

The full extent of the destruction caused by the enormous tornado that ripped through Oklahoma was still being determined as night fell on Monday.  At least 51 people were killed, including seven children at an elementary school. Entire blocks of homes were flattened. At one hospital alone 85 patients, including 65 children, were being treated for injuries. And many were still missing. Here's a look at how Monday's horrific storm compares to some of the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history:

Joplin, Mo. - May 22, 2011

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Destroyed homes and debris cover the ground as a second storm moves in on May 23, 2011 in Joplin, Mo.

Peak winds, roaring over 200 miles per hour, destroyed the Missouri town, killing 162 people and causing an estimated $2.8 billion in damage, according to the National Weather Service. The Weather Channel's severe weather expert Greg Forbes estimates more than 17,000 people were affected. Nearly two years later, the town is still rebuilding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuscaloosa, Ala. - April 27, 2011

Marvin Gentry/Reuters

An aerial view shows extensive damage to homes in the path of tornadoes in Tuscaloosa, Ala., April 28, 2011.

The F4 tornado killed 65 during a record-setting day when 200 twisters spun through the Southeast. The spring and summer of 2011 was one of the most active, deadly and destructive periods of tornado activity in U.S. history. That year there were a reported 551 fatalities and $28 billion in damages, according to the Almanac.

Worcester, Mass. - June 9, 1953

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Shortly after the tornado struck in Worchester, Mass. The storm shattered homes at left and piled debris in the street.

Areas outside the Midwest are not immune from tornadoes. In 1953 a cyclone tore through Massachusetts and killed 90, making it the worst in New England history.

Tupelo, Miss./Gainesville, Ga. - April 5 and 6, 1936

Hall County Library System via AP

Offices along South Main Street in Gainesville following three tornadoes that touched down in the early morning of April 6, 1936.

Two tornadoes merged over Gainesville, Ga., just northeast of Atlanta, on April 6, 1936. The twisters came just one day after a tornado took more than 200 lives in Tupelo, Miss. Overall, the two-day death toll was 454.

"Tri-State Tornado" - March 18, 1925

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Minnie (left) and Rose Hawkins sit amid the wreckage of their home in Murphysboro, Ill., in the wake of the tri-state tornado in March 1925.

The deadliest tornado in American history ripped through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, killing 747 people. Particularly affected was  Murphysboro, Ill., where a whopping 234 were killed, according to The Weather Channel.

St. Louis, Mo. - May 27, 1896

J.C. Strauss/St. Louis Public Library via AP

Children stand in the street near Eighth and Rutger in St. Louis after it was hit by a tornado on May 27, 1896.

The tornado hit downtown St. Louis, crossed the Mississippi River and slammed through East St. Louis. It killed 255 and caused $2.54 billion in damage, when adjusted for inflation. The storm was the costliest twister in U.S. history before Joplin.

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