Factbox-Five of the deadliest tornadoes in US history | WKZO | All Kalamazoo

(Reuters) – A tornado swarm that ravaged at least six U.S. states has killed more than 70 people in Kentucky and destroyed homes and businesses, officials said.

The devastation was the last of many destructive tornadoes to hit the United States, where tornadoes are more common than in any other country in the world. Here are five of the deadliest:

TRI-STATE TORNADO, March 18, 1925

The deadliest recorded tornado in US history was the Tri-State Tornado, which struck Missouri, Illinois and Indiana in 1925. According to the National Weather Service, at least 695 people have died 2,000 people were injured and 15,000 homes were destroyed in a storm that swept through the three states in three and a half hours.


On April 5, Tupelo, Mississippi was hit by at least one tornado that killed 216 people, according to the National Weather Service. The tornado caused more than $ 3 million in property damage, destroyed the city’s water tank and destroyed the hospital, necessitating the establishment of makeshift hospitals until trains could transport the injured to nearby towns, according to the Mississippi Encyclopedia.

The next day, the Georgian town of Gainesville was wiped out by a separate tornado that was part of the same storm system. There, the storm killed 203 people, the National Weather Service said. Minutes after the tornadoes hit the city’s shopping district, fires broke out across the region, including at a garment factory where 60 workers died, according to the Georgia Digital Library.

JOPLIN, MISSOURI, May 22, 2011

A tornado that extended up to three-quarters of a mile wide and high winds of over 200 miles per hour (322 km / h) killed 161 people on May 22, 2011 after hitting the edge of town and traveled on the ground through it all, says the city.

FLINT, MICHIGAN, June 8, 1953

The tornado that struck Flint in the Beecher District of Michigan on June 8, 1953 was considered the worst natural disaster to hit the state in the 20th century, the National Weather Service has said. It killed 116 people and injured 844 in one of eight tornadoes reported in Michigan that day.

1953 is considered one of the worst tornado years in the United States. A separate tornado in Waco, Texas killed 114 people earlier this spring. The day after Tornado Beecher, 90 people died in Worcester, Massachusetts, from another tornado spawned by the same storm system.


The Shinnston tornado killed 100 people in the West Virginia community, according to the National Weather Service. It was the southernmost tornado in a series that left more than 1,000 dead and 3,000 injured in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

While World War II was in progress, residents initially thought they were being bombed, a witness said, according to West Virginia Metro News. Hospitals in the area were forced to treat patients by candlelight after electricity was cut off by the storm, with a traveling circus loaning a generator to a hospital, West Virginia Public Broadcasting reported.

(Reuters staff report; edited by Bill Berkrot)

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