After a devastating 0.75-mile wide tornado swept through Joplin, Missouri, residents have returned to the wreckage.

The tornado, the deadliest in the US since 1947, killed at least 123 people and injured 1,150 others.  It wrecked businesses, residential buildings, and even a hospital.

Shortly after the tornado hit on 5:41 p.m. on May 22, 2011, Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency for the Joplin area.  Emergency responders and the Missouri National Guard quickly conducted search and rescue efforts. 

Just a month ago, a deadly tornado struck Tuscaloosa, Alabama and killed 61 people.  Before that, a tornado that hit Crowley, Louisiana killed a woman who was trying to protect her daughter.

The string of fatal tornados in the US so far puts 2011 on track to be the deadliest year for tornado casualties, despite advances in technology, experts told CNN. 

The Joplin fatalities bring the 2011 US total to 489.  The yearly average is 56 and the deadliest year on record, 1925, saw 794 people killed.