Monday 18 April 2011

American tornadoes

Over the last few days, more than 60 tornadoes have ripped through North Carolina in the USA, killing 21 people. Another 24 people died in the states of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Virginia. There were also flash floods and hailstones the size of grapefruit.

It was the highest number of tornadoes recorded in the US since 1984 when 42 people were killed. The Governor of North Carolina said that homes had been demolished as though they were made of paper.

The worst twister in US history was the Great Tri-State Tornado of March 18, 1925 which devastated Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana, killing more than 700 people. The highest number of deaths were in Illinois – 613 – the biggest number in a single state in US history.

The town worst hit was Murphysboro, where 234 people were killed – the worst toll for a single town in US history. For more details see A Disastrous History of the World.

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