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On May 20th, 2013, a massive tornado touched down on the town of Moore, Oklahoma at 2:45 p.m. (CDT), killing at least 91 people, injuring 240 others and destroying many homes and buildings in the area. According to the U.S. National Weather Service’s damage survey, winds were estimated to have reached 210 miles per hour and stretched over 1.3 miles wide at its peak, classifying the event as the most powerful type of tornados (EF5) on the Enhanced Fujita scale.
Immediately following the impact, YouTubers in the area began uploading video footage of the tornado. Some of the most notable videos of the passing tornado and the scene of aftermath were uploaded by YouTubers BaseHuntersChasing, Charles Cook, MisterMrCooper and Attila1487 (shown below).
On the morning of May 21st, CBS News aired an interview with Moore resident Barbara Garcia, who found her dog emerging from the rubble while describing on camera how the two had been separated as a result of the tornado (shown below). The video was subsequently highlighted on Gawker, New York Daily News, Mashable, the International Business Times and the /r/videos subreddit, where it received over 12,900 up votes and 1,400 comments within the first 16 hours.
“Well I got God to answer one prayer to let me be okay, but he answered both of them.”
On May 20th, Redditor breezycart posted a photograph of the tornado to the /r/pics subreddit (shown below, left), claiming to have taken the photo after escaping the tornado’s path with his dog. In the first 23 hours, the post accumulated more than 29,000 up votes and 2,100 comments. Two hours later, Redditor BrokenRayn submitted a photograph of the tornado taken from his backyard to the /r/pics subreddit (shown below, right), garnering upwards of 15,500 up votes and 470 comments in the next 21 hours.
On the following day, Redditor soonerguy11 submitted a photograph of teachers carrying elementary students out of a school that had been hit by the tornado to the /r/pics subreddit (shown below). Within 19 hours, the post gained more than 35,000 up votes and 4,700 comments.
According to the Twitter analytics site Topsy, there were over 358,000 tweets using the hashtag “#PrayForOklahoma” on May 20th (shown below).
Many celebrities posted tweets sending condolences to those affected by the tornado, including Ellen DeGeneres, Alicia Keys, Patton Oswalt, Kristen Bell, Neil Patrick Harris, Carrie Underwood, Khloe Kardashian and Alyssa Milano. On May 21st, comedian Ricky Gervais responded to a tweet from the @MTV Twitter account listing celebrities who sent prayers to the victims, quipping that he felt dumb for only sending money. The same day, a screenshot of the tweet was shared on the /r/atheism subreddit, where it gained over 10,600 up votes and 500 comments within five hours.
On May 20th, the Worldunitedanonymous YouTube channel uploaded a video announcing the launch of the “#OpOK” Anonymous campaign, which aimed to assist in the clean up and relief effort for victims of the tornado (shown below). The video description contained a link to a Pirate Pad page with up-to-date information regarding the operation, including instructions on donating to relief groups, shelter information and emergency service contacts. On the following day, the campaign was reported on by the Internet news site The Daily Dot.
This is an urgent message concerning the absolutely devastating impact of the tornadoes that left a trail of destruction through Oklahoma on 5/20/2013. A new Anonymous operation is being launched known as #OpOK in an effort to assist with the clean up/recovery effort. There is no limit to who you can help or what you can do… however we ask that you please do something. Many Anons and other humanitarian groups will be on scene to help in anyway we can.
This is an operation that all can assist with and if money, transportation, or any other issues hinder you from being able to help, please at least use social media, video, and any other means to KEEP the word moving. As we have seen with #OccupySandy the impact of individuals helping with natural disasters can be tremendous… So please assist in any way you can. WE ARE LEGION and WE have the ability to assist in helping those suffering on the ground. All possible help is needed, so please help if you can.
Immediate needs include (but are not limited to):
Non-perishable donations from nearby communities.
Ready-to-eat meals, canned goods, and water are vitally needed.
Snack items such as peanuts, dried fruit, granola bars, etc.
Gas for generators, Jerry Cans for holding fuel, and generators themselves may be needed soon.
Socks, underwear, t-shirts, etc.
Bandages and basic first aid supplies.
It would be useful to pack supply kits in backpacks so people can transport them as needed.
Coolers are also needed. (There’s never enough coolers to keep food chilled.)
Especially important items also include: First aid supplies, gloves, hand sanitizers,
diapers and wipes, tampons, batteries of all typical sizes, and flashlights.
For information about Community / Government operations on the ground and donation drop off points, as well as other useful information such as housing locations, please visit the Pastebin post linked in the description below!
We are Anonymous,
We are Legion,
We do not Forgive,
We do not Forget,