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Aerial photos reveal scale of Joplin tornado devastation

Updated with NBC Nightly News video, 7:58 p.m., May 24:

A helicopter tour of the tornado disaster zone around Joplin, MO offers a terrifying display of nature's power. NBC's Al Roker reports

 

NBC News producer Zoe Marcus, @zmarcus on Twitter, filed this picture from the chopper:

Zoe Marcus

Trees and homes alike were flattened by the storm.

Original post:

Charlie Riedel / AP

The path of a powerful tornado is seen in Joplin, Mo. Tuesday, May 24, 2011.

Charlie Riedel / AP

A destroyed Home Depot is seen in Joplin, Mo. Tuesday, May 24, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city Sunday, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses.

Charlie Riedel / AP

A destroyed apartment complex is seen in an aerial view over Joplin, Mo. Tuesday, May 24, 2011. A tornado moved through much of the city Sunday, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses and killing at least 116 people.

Charlie Riedel / AP

The path of a powerful tornado is seen in Joplin, Mo. Tuesday, May 24, 2011.

Charlie Riedel / AP

An apartment complex destroyed by a powerful tornado is seen in an aerial view over Joplin, Mo. Tuesday, May 24, 2011.

Charlie Riedel / AP

The path of a powerful tornado is seen in an aerial photo over Joplin, Mo., Tuesday, May 24, 2011.

Charlie Riedel / AP

The path of a powerful tornado is seen in Joplin, Mo., Tuesday, May 24, 2011.

Here's the full story, our slideshow, and a photo by NBC's Al Roker.