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Tornado Death Toll Rises to 89 in Joplin, Missouri

Posted by feww on May 23, 2011

Officials expect to find more bodies

Summary of Tornado Damage in Joplin, Missouri

  • The deadly storm struck Joplin at 17:30 local time (22:30 UTC) on Sunday May 22, 2010.
  • The tornado has killed at least 89 people.
  •  Officials expect to find more bodies.
  • Some 2,000 other buildings have been destroyed.
  • As many as a thousand people have been injured.
  • The tornado that struck Joplin left an estimated path of destruction about 6 miles (10km) long a 3/4 mile (1 km) wide.
  • The death and destruction in Joplin far surpasses the devastation caused by the tornado that struck Tuscaloosa, Alabama in April.
  • In just 10 minutes the deadly tornado destroyed between 30 and 75 percent of the city, according to different reports.
  • St. John’s Regional Medical Center, the main local hospital, took a direct hit, which resulted in “extensive damage,” a hospital spokesman said. “The roof is gone. A lot of the windows are blown out.”
  • Debris from the hospital, including X-rays, were found as far as 45 miles (72km) away.

Joplin Tornado. Frame grab from a news video. Click HERE to view clip.

Extensive Damage, Incredible Loss of Life

  •  “The loss of life is incredible,” said Joplin Mayor Mike Woolston. “We’re still trying to find people. The outlook is pretty bleak.”
  • “We have reports of significant structural damage to strong buildings. Automobiles have been flipped, bark was stripped off trees.” A meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Springfield said.
  • Governor Nixon declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard to help deal with the disaster, stating that the storms “have caused extensive damage across Missouri.” He warned:  “[The storm] continue to pose significant risk to lives and property.”

US Tornado Alley


Tornado Alley is a nickname for an area that consistently experiences a high frequency of tornadoes each year. The area that has the most strong and violent tornadoes includes eastern SD, NE, KS, OK. Northern TX, and eastern Colorado. Source: NSSL/NOAA. Click image to enlarge.

Relative frequency of killer tornado events, 1950-2004. White area indicates area with greatest frequency of tornado-related fatalities during the period. Red area had the second greatest frequency of tornado-related fatalities. © Copyright [2007] American Meteorological Society (AMS).

Related Links

2011 Disasters

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