Oklahoma disaster brings sombre mood to Westminster

The heated debate over gay marriage was overshadowed by news of a catastrophic tornado in Oklahoma today, which killed at least 91 people.

The storm reduced buildings to rubble and directly hit an elementary school in the town of Moore, south of Oklahoma City.

"My sympathies to the families of all those who died and to those rebuilding their lives after the Oklahoma tornado," foreign secretary William Hague said this morning.

Reports from the scene say cars were strewn across roads and entire blocks were flattened.

At least seven children are known to have died.

President Barack Obama declared a major disaster while state governor Mary Fallin sent out the national guard to assist with rescue operations.

In horrifying scenes, rescue workers passed children down a human chain to a hastily assembled triage centre in a car park.

Meanwhile, a man with a megaphone stood by a Catholic church and read out the names of surviving children as parents waited nearby.