This week, a tornado damaged the roofs of two houses in Newport, South Wales. Unpleasant enough for the people who lived there, but much less serious than the twister that hit north-west London in December 2006 which resulted in damage to up to 150 houses and many cars. Six people were injured, one seriously.
Astonishingly, the UK suffers more tornadoes per square mile than any other country on earth. About 30 a year are reported, but fortunately most are very weak. Britain’s deadliest ever tornado appears to have been one that hit Edwardsville, just a few miles from Newport, on October 27, 1913, killing six people.
The USA is generally regarded as the worst place for tornadoes, and it has been hit by many devastating twisters – the most deadly being the Great Tri-State Tornado of March 18, 1925 that killed more than 700 people, but the worst the world has ever seen was the one that struck Bangladesh on April 26, 1989, devastating at least 50 villages and killing an estimated 1,300.