Wednesday, 4 May 2011

US tornadoes - biggest outbreak ever

The USA has just suffered its most active tornado outbreak since records began. Between April 25 and April 28, no fewer than 362 struck, including 312 during one 24 hour period. The previous record was 148 over two days in April 1974.

The twisters killed at least 350 people in Alabama and 6 other states, making this the deadliest episode since the Tupelo-Gainesville outbreak of 1936 when about 435 people were killed by 17 tornadoes in the states of Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina.

This time the worst hit was Alabama, where 250 people were killed. The winds also caused death and destruction in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia. Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was the town that suffered most, where the clear-up is expected to cost at least £40m.

The deadliest tornado in US history remains the Great Tri-State Tornado of 1925, which caused the deaths of more than 700 people. (See my blog of April 18)

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