Joplin, Missouri (CNN) - The tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, Sunday killed 124 people, authorities said Tuesday, in what was the deadliest single U.S. tornado since modern record-keeping began 61 years ago.
An estimated 750 people have been treated at area hospitals, said Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr, who told residents of the tornado-ravaged town to be prepared in case a new wave of dangerous storms strikes later Tuesday.
On a brighter note, rescue workers pulled two more people alive from the rubble within the last 24 hours, Rohr said.
Also Tuesday, forecasters raised their assessment of the Sunday storm, ranking it at the top of the scale used to rate tornadoes.
The National Weather Service has determined the twister packed top winds of more than 200 mph, making it a 5 on the enhanced Fujita scale, said Bill Davis, the meteorologist who reviewed the damage.
Davis said the tornado left "about six miles of total destruction" in its wake. Examinations of some of the buildings destroyed or damaged convinced forecasters to raise the designation, he said.
Roughly 8,000 structures within the city of Joplin sustained damaged, Rohr said, citing a Federal Emergency Management Agency report. A previous estimate had put the number of buildings damaged or destroyed at 2,000.
Among the dead in Joplin were 10 residents and a staff member at a nursing home, a company official said.
Two other staffers at Greenbriar Nursing Home are in critical condition at a hospital, said the home's vice president, Bill Mitchell.
Of the other 79 residents of the home, all but one are accounted for, he said. Only rubble remains and survivors have been moved to temporary housing or are with family members.
"It just looks like a war zone," said Eddie Atwood in a CNN iReport from the scene. From where he stood, Atwood said, "You could see all the way to the horizon because all the houses and all the trees were just leveled."FULL STORY
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with