E.n the day after the devastating cyclones in the American Midwest and Southeast, aid workers are working their way through rubble in many locations to clear roads, find survivors, and salvage the dead. The storms hit the town of Mayfield, Kentucky with 10,000 inhabitants hardest. The city center was almost completely laid in ruins.
110 people worked in a candle factory when the cyclone brought the building down on Saturday night. The company had set up an additional night shift in order to be able to meet the strong demand during the Christmas season. According to the authorities, only 40 of the 110 people were able to get to safety, the fate of the rest is uncertain, many are likely to have died. Some workers trapped in rubble had called for help on Facebook.
“Too many houses where people were staying have been completely destroyed”
Eyewitnesses report that the Mayfield hurricane took no more than five to ten minutes to destroy itself. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said he had never seen such a degree of destruction. Buildings have simply disappeared, trucks overturned. Far too many houses in which people stayed have been completely destroyed. “
Beshear fears that more than 100 people have fallen victim to the cyclones in his state alone. In Kentucky’s third largest city, Bowling Green, hurricanes razed smaller residential areas. In Edwardsville, Illinois, a department store belonging to the online group Amazon collapsed. Six warehouse workers were killed and 45 people were rescued. According to the fire department, a wall of the warehouse and parts of the roof had collapsed. Amazon forbids its workers to bring their smartphones to the workplace, on which they could have been warned of the oncoming storms. The small town of Monette, Arkansas, is also affected, where a nursing home and neighboring buildings collapsed under brutal gusts.
Unusual weather conditions had triggered up to 30 cyclones on Friday and Saturday that swept through the states of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee. The mild weather and an easterly moving storm front directed by the La Nina weather phenomenon had apparently in combination favored the tornadoes. This cyclone intensity at this time of year is exceptionally rare; tornadoes are usually more likely to form in spring. Unusual weather conditions also ensured that the cyclones raged for hours instead of dissolving after a few minutes. The weather front that brought the cyclones with them moved over 370 kilometers for four hours. Occasional wind speeds of 250 kilometers per hour and more were measured.
If the National Weather Service rated the hurricanes as the offshoot of a large tornado, it would be the largest in 1925, when 700 people in Illinois, Indiana and Missouri lost their lives in the so-called three-state tornado. A hurricane hit Missouri ten years ago, killing 161 people. The five deadliest cyclones in the United States had all occurred in the spring. Weather experts anticipate that in the future these weather phenomena will occur more frequently in the cool season, because in winter they register warm air masses much more frequently than in the past, which the cyclones make possible. In return, the weather researchers expect fewer tornadoes to occur in the summer months.
Thanks to progress in the development of early warning systems, the American authorities managed to reduce the number of storm victims over the decades. On average, citizens have just under ten minutes to get away from hurricanes. In communities where hurricanes occur more frequently, the emergency is rehearsed more often.
However, the focus of cyclone activity appears to be shifting eastward from Oklahoma and Kansas to the Mississippi Valley Corridor, which stretches from Louisiana in the south to Wisconsin in the north. The region is more populous than the previous so-called “Tornado Avenue”. The cyclones could increasingly affect communities that have less experience with them. In addition, in regions that have not been hit by hurricanes so far, local building law makes fewer requirements for the stability of buildings.
Throughout the country, aid organizations are now in the process of organizing help for the victims of the storm. Religious communities collect for the reconstruction of churches. Governor Beshear called for blood donations, President Joe Biden provided emergency aid payments for the affected states and asked the Federal Environment Agency to investigate the role of climate change in the increasing frequency of winter storms.
#Tornadoes #Ten #Minutes #Destruction
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