Two Mexicans are believed to be among the victims of the tornado that flattened a large section of Joplin, Missouri, over the weekend, the Foreign Relations Secretariat said.

"Sadly, we have reports of the deaths of two Mexicans" in the tornado, which touched down around 6:00 p.m. Sunday and destroyed between a tenth and a fifth of the city, the secretariat said.

Mexican officials are in contact with their U.S. counterparts in an effort to confirm this information, the secretariat said.

The Mexican government sends its condolences to the families of those who died in the twister, the secretariat said.

Consular officials are in Joplin and are providing assistance to a Mexican who is in a shelter and another hospitalized for treatment of injuries, the secretariat said.

At least 116 people died in the tornado in Joplin, a city of some 50,000 located about 257 kilometers (160 miles) south of Kansas City.

A strip of land approximately one kilometer (2/3 mile) wide was flattened when the tornado ripped through the city, city spokeswoman Lynn Ostot said.

The twister's power can be judged by the fact that residents in Dade County, Missouri, some 110 kilometers (70 miles) from Joplin, found materials and items on Monday from St. John's Regional Medical Center in their yards.

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