Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is promising to end the confusion of the dead and missing from the Joplin tornado.
The Governor ordered the state to take over the tracking for the missing. He acknowledge they found the local effort to track the missing “had challenges”, so he ordered the state take-over.
Nixon promises a “dramatic shift” toward a lower number. On CNN Thursday night, however, he warned many of the results will not have happy endings, meaning some of the missing may be declared dead.
Within hours after posting a list of 232 names of unaccounted for people, the Governor says some names had been crossed off the list.
The state has a 10am news conference in Joplin Friday to update the list.
The tension between the families of the tornado’s victims , has been rising since Monday. The death toll now stands at least 126.
According to Reuters News service, Nixon acknowledged the frustration and confusion over initial estimates of a staggering 1,500 missing reported for two days following the tornado.
As briefings continued for the media, the number of missing did not decline. Then on Wednesday, officials abruptly stopped giving out a figure at all.
State officials directed 60 investigators starting on Wednesday to work around the clock to deliver Thursday’s more accurate number, Nixon said.
“We have absolutely no reason to hide anything from anybody,” Nixon said.
But the Governor says the pace of identifying and the dead, and notifying families has been slowed.
Some of the remains of the dead are in such a condition that they may only be identified through scientific means. Some of the missing remain unaccounted for partly because communication, especially cell services in the damage zone remains poor.