At least 1 killed as tornado tears though dozens of Oklahoma homes: Reports

According to media reports, tornados formed across the Texas panhandle and western Oklahoma on May 16, 2017.
According to media reports, tornados formed across the Texas panhandle and western Oklahoma on May 16, 2017. PHOTO: EPA

(Reuters) - A tornado tore through western Oklahoma on Tuesday (May 16) evening, destroying or damaging dozens of homes and killing at least one person, media reported.

As many as 70 homes in Elk City, a town of about 12,000 people around 180km west of Oklahoma City, were damaged or destroyed by the storm, CBS affiliate KWTV reported, citing officials.

One person in a car was killed, the station reported, citing an emergency response official. It was unclear how many people were injured, KWTV said.

The majority of damage occurred on the south side of the city, the Elk City Police Department said in a statement. The department told residents to stay home because power lines were down across the city. The department's phone lines were also down, it added.

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Elk City Public Schools were cancelled for Wednesday, the school system said in a statement. "My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the tornado in Elk City tonight," Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said on Twitter.