Pope Francis prays for Oklahoma tornado victims

VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope Francis on Tuesday expressed his condolences to victims of a powerful tornado that struck an Oklahoma City suburb, as local officials said up to 91 people had died, including 20 children.

"I am close to the families of all who died in the Oklahoma tornado, especially those who lost young children," the Pope said on his Twitter account.

"Join me in praying for them," he said.

The tornado swept through the area on Monday, leaving a 3km swathe of destruction in its wake and tearing down homes and schools.