EL RENO, Okla. - Violent thunderstorms roared across middle America yesterday, killing six people in two states, with several tornadoes touching down in Oklahoma and high winds pounding rural Kansas.

The storms arrived as forecast, just two days after a massive tornado tore through Joplin, in the southwest Missouri, and killed 122 people.

Several tornadoes struck Oklahoma City and its suburbs during rush hour, killing at least four people and injuring at least 60, including three children who were in critical condition, authorities said.

Cherokee Ballard, a spokeswoman for the state medical examiner, said four people died west of Oklahoma City in Canadian County, where a weather-monitoring site in El Reno recorded 151 mph winds. She had no details about the deaths.

In Kansas, police said two people died when high winds threw a tree into their van about 6 p.m. near the small town of St. John, about 100 miles west of Wichita.

The highway was shut down because of storm damage.