A ‘mile-wide’ tornado ripped through a suburb of Oklahoma City around 16:00 local time (22:00 GMT) destroying a school, igniting fires and leveling neighbourhoods.

The full human toll is currently unclear as at least four tornadoes have been confirmed in the second day of strikes the mid-western state of Oklahoma, USA.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has since declared a state of emergency in 16 counties.

Reports suggest that rescuers have been pulling children alive from the rubble of an elementary school in Moore, just south of Oklahoma City.

In 1999, the highest recorded wind speed was taken during a tornado near Moore.

Local news channel KFOR reported that around 75 students and teachers were in the building when it was torn apart by the devastating winds.

Betsy Randolph, spokesperson for the Highway Patrol, has said: “People are trapped. You are going to see devastation for days to come.”

Yesterday, Glen Iris (79) and Billy Hutchinson (76) died plus a further 21 were injured after tornadoes destroyed a mobile home park near Shawnee.

Various news footage shows rescuers and volunteers have been searching through the rubble of homes and businesses affected in the aftermath.

The US National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed the wind speeds may have reached as high as 200mph (320 km/h).

As the twister hit a generally agricultural area, it is suspected that most of the damage will be to livestock swept away and trapped by falling rubble.

CNN reports that the Moore Medical Centre has been evacuated after the event due to structural damage sustained.

Weather forecasters have since said that the destructive weather seen over the past few days may only be a preview of more to come.