UPDATE (8:20 a.m. 5/25/11)The death toll has risen to 13 across the region with eight people killed in Oklahoma, two in Kansas and three in Arkansas, reports the Associated Press. Rescue crews worked through the night to account for missing persons, and so those numbers could rise. The storm system hit Oklahoma City's suburbs hardest with one weather station recording 151 miles-per-hour winds that injured at least 60--including three children in critical condition--in addition to the eight dead. A spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Medical Examiners office reports that a child was among those killed.
UPDATE (10:52 p.m.)
ABC is reporting that a funnel cloud was seen "by trained weather spotters" 10 miles from Joplin, Missouri. Around 10:45, another tornado warning was also issued for Joplin but cancelled minutes later.
Today's outbreak of tornadoes across the midwest has claimed six lives in Oklahoma and Kansas, reports CNN. Starting at around 3 p.m. on Tuesday, severe thunderstorms spawned a series of twisters in addition to the one documented live by local weatherman Jeff Piotrowski. Reports the New York Times of the damage:
The largest and most severe of the tornadoes struck around midday, touching down in Caddo County and then sweeping from the southwest to northeast corners of Canadian County, where it devastated El Reno, a town of 15,000 people about 25 miles west of downtown Oklahoma City. The tornado left a trail of shredded and overturned cars along Interstate 40, destroyed livestock, set off a gas line explosion and spurred people across El Reno to evacuate their homes.
The twisters were well documented by reporters in the area, and a number of videos have appeared online. This video shows a smaller tornado hitting a tractor trailer truck just outside the small town of Shawnee. According to the user who uploaded the video, the driver of the truck was in the cab when the twister hit: