The toll in the tornado that devastated Joplin city in the American state of Missouri has reached 132, while 156 people still remain unaccounted for, officials said.
At least 90 people previously listed as missing checked in with their loved ones or with authorities. The storm left 900 people injured as it flattened numerous homes and other buildings Sunday night in Joplin, a city of 50,000 people, roughly 257 km south of Kansas.
More than 8,000 structures were damaged by the tornado, which had winds of more than 320 km per hour, according to the US National Weather Service.
Storms also left 13 dead in Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma, according to
The original list of 232 missing or unaccounted for residents had dropped to 156 by Friday, Missouri Department of Public Safety deputy director Andrea Spillars said, adding that at least 90 people on the initial list had been located alive.
But at least six others were identified as among the dead, and some new names had been added to the scroll of the missing. Authorities had cautioned for days that while they believed many on the list were alive and safe, others likely had been killed.
City manager Mark Rohr acknowledged during an afternoon news conference that there may be "significant overlap" between the confirmed dead and the remainder of the missing list. Still, search and rescue crews were undeterred, with 600 volunteers and 50 dog teams out again across the city.
"We're going to be in a search and rescue mode until we remove the last piece of debris," Rohr said. Earlier Friday, hundreds of mourners packed Tennessee Friends Prairie Church in Galena, Kan., for the first funeral of the tornado's confirmed victims,
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