Authorities are expected to release Friday an updated list of missing persons in the tornado-hit Joplin area in Missouri.
On May 26, the Missouri Dept. of Public Safety released a list of 232 individuals for whom an official missing persons report had been filed and the list will be updated on a daily basis.
The names of these unaccounted-for individuals are being cross-referenced with all hospitals that admitted or treated patients injured during the tornado, shelters housing tornado survivors, applicants for disaster assistance and the Red Cross Safe and Well program.
Additionally, the Dept. of Public Safety is working with cell phone service providers to check whether cell phones have been used by individuals who have been unaccounted-for list since their names were added to the list.
Under the department's direction, a team of more than 60 law-enforcement officers, State Emergency Management Agency personnel, Red Cross volunteers, and local and federal partners are working 24 hours a day on accounting for these individuals.
State employees that are part of the effort include investigators from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the State Emergency Management Agency and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Joplin Police Department investigators and federal employees are also part of the effort.
On May 22, 2011, Joplin was struck by a destructive tornado, resulting in at least 125 deaths and over 750 injuries, along with major damage to numerous houses, businesses and multiple school buildings. The tornado was reported have been about 1/2 mile (0.8 km) in width and 4-6 miles long. An official statement from the National Weather Service has categorized the Joplin tornado as an EF5.
The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency confirmed that at least 125 people were killed in Joplin, a number that is likely to rise.
To get direction on filing a report about an unaccounted-for individual, families may call 417-659-5464 or file a report with the Highway Patrol in person at the Billingsley Student Center on the campus of Missouri Southern State University.