On May 22, 2011 the city of Joplin, Missouri, articles.latimes.com/2011/may/22/nation/la-naw-joplin-eyewitness-20110522 was devastated by an EF-5 (Enhanced Fujita Scale) tornado. www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/ef-scale.html
That puts the tornado at the upper end of the scale, and this is why over 130 people have been killed with hundreds more injured.
It is the deadliest single U.S. tornado since 1947 and one of the top ten deadliest of all time. www3.gendisasters.com/node/6279
In late April of 2011, over 320 tornadoes caused widespread devastation and killed over 325 people while the entire severe weather outbreak claimed over 340 lives with thousands more injured. The outbreak ranks in the top 5 of deadliest outbreaks of all time. addins.kttc.com/blogs/weather/2011/05/april-2011-tornadoes-and-26-28th-outbreak
Already this season ranks as one of the deadliest severe weather seasons of all time and the number of confirmed tornadoes greatly surpasses the averages to date. www.spc.noaa.gov/wcm/
The devastation has been hard to escape with news footage and photos of the destruction posted on every news site online and every news station on t.v. There are numerous clips of the actual tornadoes, photos of people witnessing the destruction, and the shredded communities themselves.
Tornadoes are the so-called monsters that victims and civilians blame because of all of the destruction they cause, but are they really monsters? Are great white sharks killers? Should we really blame mother nature for all of the destruction?
Tornadoes have existed since the beginning of time, and they are part of mother nature’s bag of tricks just like any other natural disaster.
They form because of the laws of physics, thermodynamics, and other scientific institutions which control how our planet works. They do not target anyone, they have no purpose, they don’t have a mind, a brain, they don’t think. They are only a bi-product of nature and should not be blamed for any destruction, no matter how severe. www.nssl.noaa.gov/edu/safety/tornadoguide.html
So, Who’s to Blame?
The year is 2011 and yet people are still getting killed by the hundreds from floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes when that shouldn’t have to happen. It’s inexcusable that a hurricane in 2005 could wipe out so many people, it’s inexcusable that one tornado could kill over a 130 people. The real blame isn’t on mother nature but on us.
Why were the levees so unprotected? Why are structures not up to the building code standards that should be able to withstand significant winds?
Nature has existed since the beginning of our planet, and it hasn’t changed since. It’s understandable that thousands died when the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 struck Galveston, Texas.
It wasn’t a huge shock when the March 18, 1925 infamous “Tri-State Tornado” killed nearly 700 people.
Yes the number of people who died was shocking but our structures, our building codes, our misunderstanding of nature, and our lack of technology in the late 19th and 20th centuries made it understandable that so many people could have been killed in natural disasters.
So why when we have landed a man on the moon, created supercomputers, established satellites and radars, and developed highly advanced warning systems do we still witness so many fatalities.
We easily have the technology to effectively warn people from most disasters, we have developed structures built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. www.nhc.noaa.gov/sshws.shtml
Our levees can withstand flood waters that rise up to 20 feet above flood stage, and we developed storm walls to protect us from incredible storm surge. www.nhc.noaa.gov/surge/
With all of these advancements, it makes one wonder why we still experience the death and destruction that we witnessed and read about some 20, 30, 50, or 100 years ago.
The answer varies, but my guess is that it has a lot to do with financial issues. There is a great cost needed to build the strongest buildings, levees, towns, and cities. It’s fairly obvious that, to the government, the financial cost is far more important than the human cost. That sad statement, whether it be fact or fiction, is pretty relevant considering the evidence we’ve seen.
If we have the technology to save lives, then why does it fail us? Joplin, MO didn’t have to be completely destroyed and most of those people who died, if not all, could have survived even the strongest tornado. WHY? Because we have the technology to save people, but the cost may appear too great according to some.
It will probably take another Hurricane Katrina www.katrina.noaa.gov/
Or another Joplin, MO type tornado to finally get people to take notice. In fact, the next devastating event will probably even have to be more deadly and destructive for someone to finally take action.
So, Are Tornadoes to blame for what those people have been through. Absolutely Not. It’s humanity’s faults that are to blame. Nature has and will always remain nature and that’s exactly what tornadoes are; a product of nature.