BREAKING... Joplin, Missouri Struck by Tornado; Medical Center Takes Direct Hit

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JOPLIN, MO. (HNN) – At least 24-30 people have died following a direct hit by a tornado on Joplin, Missouri. The governor has activated the National Guard and declared a state of emergency. The death toll is expected to climb.

“One minute it was barely sprinkling [then] the whole world turned upside down,” a witness told

The tornado came up a main thoroughfare which included WalMart and St. John’s Hospital. The top of the hospital has been sheared off, according to KOLR-TV.

When the tornado, a witness reported seeing a victim blown out of the hospital.

Damage in Joplin has been compared to a “war zone,” KOLR-TV reported. Home Depot, Wal Mart, Joplin High School, Walgreens, Pizza Hut, Burger King, and others have been heavily damaged or destroyed.

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The Springfield News Leader reported that a St. John's Medical spokesperson said, "We are not sure for the safety of the building." Extensive damage includes blown out windows and a roof blown from the structure.

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