Tornado damage bill to top $2 billion

The bill for damage from the Oklahoma tornado could top $2 billion, according to the Oklahoma Insurance Department.

A department spokeswoman said the tally is based on visual assessments of the extensive disaster zone that stretches more than 17 miles, and the fact the tornado lasted 40 minutes.

Two girls survey the wreckage of their home, destroyed by the tornado Credit: Reuters

Between 12,000 and 13,000 homes were destroyed or damaged and 33,000 people were affected in some way by the storm, said Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornet.

Two years ago, the 2011 tornado which hit Joplin in Missouri caused around $2.8 billion in damages.