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OK tornado victims using internet to find loved ones

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Many people in Moore, OK, still do not know where their loved ones are. (Source: KFOR/CNN) Many people in Moore, OK, still do not know where their loved ones are. (Source: KFOR/CNN)

(RNN) - People affected by the massive tornado that killed at least 24 people and destroyed parts of metropolitan Oklahoma City still do not know where their loved ones are, but many of them are using social media to find out.

With so many people displaced and their belongings destroyed, letting their friends and family know they are safe can be difficult. To help with that process, the Red Cross has put up Safe and Well, a website where people can search by name for loved ones and register themselves so others can find them.

But the residents of Moore, OK, which was hit hardest by the tornado, have also been relying on each other via Facebook to obtain and disperse information about the missing.

"Moore Tornado Lost and Found" had nearly 5,000 likes five hours after it was created, and several hundred people commented on the page with questions and information about the whereabouts of residents.

Many of the comments reflected the fear and desperation Moore's residents are suffering, including parents of missing children who were believed to be in Plaza Towers Elementary, a school in Moore hit by the tornado where children are feared dead.

"Dylan Hall's mom is looking for him," wrote Bridget Clink. "He was in the [Plaza Towers] school. Prayers for her & so many others!"

"I have a friend looking for her son from West Moore," wrote Robin Wright. "I heard they are turning parents away who are looking for their children. Is this true? They are sick with worry."

But some of the posts reflected the relief people felt when they found their loved ones.

"My son just called me and said they were all ok. Praise Jesus," wrote Pam Buckland on the Facebook page. "I love you Jimmy and family. Lord will see you through all this and the city of Moore. Prayers out to all in Oklahoma that has been affected by this."

Twitter is also being used as a tool to help find loved ones and aid in the immediate recovery. The hashtag #OKMissing is being used to communicate information about missing people, while #OpOK is being used to tell people about where to find shelter and how to volunteer assistance, as well as other information people want to communicate.

Several activist groups, including various factions of Anonymous and Occupy, have been instrumental in getting relief and recovery information through Twitter.

Other hashtags urging people to keep tornado victims in their thoughts trended throughout the day Monday, including #Oklahoma and #PrayForOklahoma.

Many people online have also urged each other to show support for the Oklahoma victims by donating $10 to the Red Cross by texting REDCROSS to 90999.

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