"US president Barack Obama says he is "heartbroken" over the devastation wrought by the massive storm that killed 116 people in the town of Joplin over the weekend.
He will visit the disaster zone on Sunday, following his four-nation visit to Europe. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families that are suffering at the moment," he told reporters in London, after earlier promising federal aid for recovery efforts.
"All we can do is let them know that all of America cares deeply about them and we are going to do absolutely everything we can to make sure they can recover."
Shocked residents in Joplin are meanwhile digging through the rubble of their homes, astonished by the extent of the devastation.
"That's all that's left," Roger Dedick said as he pointed to a section of foundation, the remains of his home of 17 years in Joplin after the deadliest single tornado in six decades ripped through the town.
He says he had to use a metal bar to pry himself out of his crushed home.
Down the street, Carolyn Hall fights back tears as she and her teenage sons comb their destroyed home hoping to find some clothes and the family cat, who eventually emerged from hiding under a bed.
Around the corner, Dottie and Tim Sumners have uncovered scores of framed photos and albums, memories that survived when the massive tornado, with winds of up to 320 kilometres per hour, hit late on Sunday." read more - via abc