Mother Nature can be quite vicious at certain times. There are certainly modern technologies out there to counter natural disasters, but sometimes these forces of nature, like tornadoes, wreak absolute havoc and destruction. Despite of the various technologies available, tornadoes lead to many deaths. You should really know about the history of deadly tornadoes and the devastation they wrought.
Millions of people have lost their lives at the hands of tornadoes. In the U.S. alone, tornadoes have led to many deaths. But tornadoes aren’t just limited to the U.S.; they occur all around the world. However, magnitudes vary drastically from place to place. Here is our list of the top 10 most vicious tornadoes around the world:
10. Waco and Wichita Falls, Texas, USA
These tornadoes debunk the common myth that tornadoes don’t just strike larger cities. The Waco Tornado cut a 1/3 mile path through the heart of the city with F5 ranking intensity. More than 600 business, 850 homes and 2,000 cars were damaged due to the raging tornado. Many people waited for hours to be rescued from amongst the rubble.
The Wichita tornado was one of the thirteen tornadoes to cause destruction throughout different parts of North Texas that year. The tornado moved through a location of just over 100,000 people. 3100 homes were brutally destroyed as a result of the tornado. Despite of the assurances from the local television stations and the warnings by the weather department, 42 people sadly lost their lives.
9. Ivanovo and Balino, Russia
The details of this tornado aren’t easy to come by because the disaster occurred at the time of rule by the Soviet Union. Research has indicated that a few tornadoes, each of F5 strength, hit Western Russia. About 400 people died in the tornados, but the death estimates go as high as 700. The area covered by the tornado was nearly 400,000 square miles.
The Ivanova tornado was one of the worst ones in history and claimed the lives of about 95 people. Many concrete structures were completely destroyed and many more homes were leveled due to the half mile wide twister.
8. The 1964 Narail-Magura Tornado
This devastating peril of Mother Nature struck Bangladesh and left its mark. About 400 or 500 people went missing or perished because of the disaster that hit the major cities of Narail and Magura in Bangladesh.
About seven villages were destroyed due to the viscous tornado. Around 400 people from the village of Bhabanipur were never found and were considered dead. Other details are quite vague and only estimates of the destruction have been given. However, one thing was definitely quite clear – it was one of the most vicious tornadoes in history for that region.
7. Smithville, Mississippi, USA
This tornado certainly deserves to be considered one of the most vicious tornadoes in history. The twister touched down about 3 miles Southwest of Smithville and was powerful enough to pull up large pine trees straight from the ground. The inner core of the storm swept a whole field away as it traveled parallel to Smithville. Seven deaths occurred on the north side of the town alone.
About 50 houses and a dozen of businesses were completely destroyed and another 16 people were killed. The death toll would have been significantly higher if the tornado occurred during working hours. The tornado didn’t weaken after tearing the town down and continued for an additional 35 minutes. The whole tornado caused 24 deaths.
6. The 1851 Sicily Tornado
This tornado struck Sicily as a water sprout. The tornado occurred in 1851, when there was limited technology for tornado warning and safety systems. Because of this the exact details aren’t clear, although it is assumed that nearly 500 people died as a result of the tornado.
There are many different theories regarding the tornado. The first theorized that two water sprouts merged at the site on the shore and formed into a massive tornado. Another thought was that a powerful multiple-vortex tornado formed near Sicily which destroyed many structures and ruined lives in its path.
5. Worcester, Mass
Destructive tornadoes don’t just occur in the South and Midwest. This next tornado is arguably one of the most vicious tornadoes in the history of New England. After exactly one day, 115 people were killed and this deadly tornado wreaked havoc in the north side of the city of Worcester.
Much destruction was caused to many buildings throughout the town. One building that suffered much destruction was the local community college. The school’s main tower lost nearly three stories. All in all, about 400 buildings were either damaged or destroyed. An F4 measurement of damage was recorded in Massachusetts. Some debris was swept miles away including a frozen mattress that was found near Weymouth and books and clothing found at Blue Hill.
4. St. Louis, USA
This Tornado occurred in Sep 1927 and carved a long path of destruction near the heart of St. Louis. A story in the Associated Press (AP) described the Tornado as “four terrible minutes of ripping and roaring”.
The National Weather Service reported that due to the tornado, some non-residential areas were blown away and some multi-story buildings were completely destroyed. The same AP story also mentioned: “Some of the finest houses of the area were laid to waste”. This tornado ranked among the U.S.’ third costliest tornado.
3. Bridge Creek, Oklahoma
There isn’t a single doubt of the fact that the Bridge Creek tornado was exceptionally violent. Although it was measured at the lower side of the F5 scale, the tornado still caused major damage. Most of the media was focused on the damage caused in the Oklahoma City, but severe damage was also caused several miles Southwest in Grady County.
Well-anchored homes were swept away, the tracks were stripped from the roads and many people were injured. A dozen people sadly lost their lives. 24 more deaths occurred after the tornado due to poor rescue facilities.
The tornado was quite well-covered in the media, so almost everyone had appropriate time to seek shelter. Due to this, the death toll was only 36, which was quite low considering the large amount of area the tornado had devastated. A detailed overview of the tornado showed that more than one third of the people were in the recommended safety zone for tornadoes, for example, in an interior room with no exterior walls.
2. The Tri State 1925 Tornado
Although many tornadoes occurred in United States in the past several decades, the Tri state tornado certainly deserves to be at the top of the most vicious tornadoes. It had the highest rating on Fujita scale of 5. What happens only in movies, this dangerous tornado lasted for about 3.5 hours and generated eight more additional tornadoes. The main tornado caused many deaths in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. Smaller tornadoes hit Alabama, Kentucky and Kansas. This whole episode of this major tornado claimed the lives of nearly 750 people.
This record was more than double the previous horrific tornado, the 1840 Great Natchez Tornado which killed about 317 people.
1. The 1989 Daulatpur – Salturia Tornado
This 1989 tornado certainly deserves to be at the top of this list of most vicious tornadoes in history. This area is found in Bangladesh. The area was already suffering from major drought and was further devastated by this huge natural disaster.
Some sources claim that the tornado’s radius was nearly 1 mile wide. In just a matter of minutes the tornado claimed the lives of 1300 people and left 12,000 people injured. The towns were completely destroyed and 80,000 people became homeless as a result of the disaster.
These are the top most vicious tornadoes in history. All these tornadoes caused major death and destruction. These tornadoes truly show the power of Mother Nature. However, these tornadoes are unavoidable. The only thing that you can do is to take the necessary precautionary measures in order to minimize the damage.