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Tornadoes One of the most devastating natural disasters is the tornado. A tornado is so damaging due to its wind speeds. Of all the natural disasters, the tornado is the one that still has the most questions left unanswered. What we do know is that a tornado is a “violently rotating column of air” underneath a cumuliform cloud. This column of air is visible most of the time, but it does not always have to be. No one is exactly sure how tornadoes form, but most occur from supercells (Edwards 1). Supercells are simply violent rotating thunderstorms. It is impossible to predict exactly when and where a tornado will occur, but meteorologists are getting better. The purpose of this paper is not to inform you of the technicalities of a tornado, but rather to tell you about some of the worst tornadoes that have ever occurred. The “Tri-State Tornado” is the worst tornado ever recorded. This tornado struck at 1:01 pm on March 18, 1925. For the next three and a half hours more people would be killed, more schools would be destroyed, and more deaths would occur in a single city than from any other tornado in U. S. history. This tornado struck the states of Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. This tornado first touched down in Missouri, where it killed a farmer. This tornado went on to kill 12 more in Missouri. When it hit Illinois, devastation was at its worst. The town of Murphysboro, with 234 deaths, had the largest death toll ever recorded within a single city. With over 400 lives lost and over $10,000,000 in losses, Illinois suffered the most of the three states. In Indiana, multiple funnels were reportedly seen. The tornado had a base on the ground of over ¾ of a mile wide. Seventy-one people died in Indiana. When it was all said and done the “Tri-State Tornado” had killed 695 people and injured over 2,000, which is why it is known as the deadliest tornado ever. A series of tornadoes struck the central United States and spread damage all the way up to Ontario in 1974.

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