116 Confirmed Dead After Tornado in Joplin, Mo.

BY News Desk  May 23, 2011 at 1:15 PM EST

View a slide show of the damage in Joplin:

4:21 p.m. ET | Authorities say the confirmed death toll has risen to 116 after search and rescue efforts Monday, with seven people rescued alive.

1 p.m. ET | Hari Sreenivasan spoke with Missy Shelton from KSMU/Ozarks Public Radio for an update on the storm’s aftermath. She describes the destruction as “unlike anything you’ve ever seen”:

11:45 a.m. ET | According to the Joplin Globe, the toll of those wounded is estimated at 500 as local hospitals are inundated with those who were injured in the Sunday evening twister.

Authorities fear the death toll, confirmed at 89, could rise as rescuers sift through the rubble left by the tornado, which created an almost six-mile path of destruction through the center of the city.

Describing the aftermath, local photographer Eddie Atwood told CNN, “After living in Joplin all my life, it was like living in the ‘Twilight Zone.’”

8:30 a.m. ET

A large tornado moved through much of Joplin, Missouri, Sunday, May 22, 2011, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses. (Mike Ransdell/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)

At least 89 people are dead after a massive tornado touched down in Joplin, Mo., Sunday evening. The death toll is expected to rise, and rescuers believe more people are trapped in rubble and destroyed homes.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has brought in the National Guard, and Kansas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma have also sent aid. President Obama said the Federal Emergency Management Agency is assisting the state in implementing rescue and recovery efforts.

The city’s St. John’s Regional Medical Center, which was in the tornado’s path, suffered direct damage and was evacuated, compounding the difficulty of treating the wounded from nearby.

On Monday, rescuers were expected to begin a door-to-door search of damaged homes in the tornado’s path.

The tornado was part of a system of severe weather in the Midwest, which had prompted tornado warnings. In Minnesota, where another twister is believed to have touched down, one person died and several were injured.