The Worst Tornadoes in History Historical Events
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The Worst Tornadoes in History

As tragic as it is to lose lives from natural disasters like tornadoes, these are the worst tornadoes in history, each claiming hundreds of lives in a matter of minutes. From the most recent, current cyclones to those of the past, sadly, this list has them all. With death tolls reaching tragic proportions, these are not only the worst cyclones environmentally, they're also the deadliest.

Though tornadoes and other natural disasters do not discriminate, the deadliest tornadoes have struck the most in the Asian country of Bangladesh. Each year, the country of around 120 million people generally sees strong, violent and often deadly tornadoes split between two seasons. The regional topography makes this area a hotbed for twisters and unfortunately puts the country atop the list of the deadliest tornadoes in world history.

In fact the two deadliest tornadoes on record, which killed over 2,000 people in total, occurred in Bangladesh. The deadliest, which hit Daultipur and Salturia, occurred in 1989 and claimed the lives of around 1,300 while the second deadliest was only as far back as in 1996, taking the lives of around 700 when it traveled from Madarganj to Mrizapur.

In addition to being the deadliest tornadoes in history, these twisters caused millions of dollars in damages and injured thousands of others. Sadly, this is common among natural disasters. The same can be said for other disasters such as the worst volcanic eruptions in history and the worst tsunamis in history, among others.

What are the worst tornadoes in history? Take a look here and you'll see.
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  1. 1

    Oklahoma Tornado of 2013

    Downed power lines, hissing gas pipes and immense devastation stood in the way of rescuers searching systematically for survivors and victims of a massive tornado that pulverized a vast swath of the Oklahoma City suburbs on May 20, 2013.

    The Monday afternoon storm carved a trail through the area as much as two miles wide and 17 miles long. Hardest hit was Moore, Oklahoma -- a suburban town of about 56,000 and the site of eerily similar twisters in 1999 and again four years later.

    Helicopter images showed large tracts of Moore completely leveled by what the National Weather Service says was at least an EF-4 tornado with winds in excess of 166 mph. The tornado stayed on the ground for 40 minutes.

    The state medical examiner's office said 24 people were confirmed dead, including nine children.Earlier reports claiming that there were 51 deaths were erroneous, but the official death toll is unclear and could still rise. More than 230 people were injured in the storm and at least 100 people were pulled alive from the rubble by rescuers.

  2. 2

    The Daulatpur-Salturia Tornado

    Killing an estimated 1,300 people in a matter of minutes, the Daulatpur-Salturia tornado is believed to be the deadliest tornado on record. The twister hit the Manikganj District, Bangladesh, on April 26, 1989, at around 6:00 p.m. local time.

    Prior to the tornado, a drought had been in effect for around six months, one factor that is believed to intensify tornadic conditions. Unsurprisingly, the tornado completely leveled the already barren land, uprooting trees and leveling an area spanning one mile wide, the estimated size of the tornado.

    Overall, around 12,000 people were injured by the tornado and a total of 80,000, mostly in the towns of Saturia and Manikganj, which were completely destroyed, were left homeless.

  3. 3

    1969 East Pakistan Tornado

    Taking place when the city of Dacca was part of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), the 1969 East Pakistan tornado hit the highly populated area on April 14. That tornado, which struck in the northeastern suburbs of the town, killed an estimated 660 people and injured a total of 4,000.

    As horrible as that tragedy was, it was only one of two deadly tornadoes to hit Bangladesh on April 14, 1969. A second twister touched down in the Homna Upazila, part of the Comilla District in Chittagong, Bangladesh, that same day.

    The tornadoes were part of the same storm system, but separate from one another. Overall, once the estimated 223 deaths from the Homna Upazila tornado were added into the 660 from the Dacca twister, the total of 883 deaths makes this day the second deadliest of all days in history for tornado-related deaths.

  4. 4

    Madarganj to Mrizapur Tornado

    As one of the most recent of the deadliest tornadoes in history, an estimated 700 people perished after a huge tornado touched down from Madarganj to Mrizapur in Bangladesh on May 13, 1996. While the number of injuries were not known, the 700 deaths from the single twister make this the second single deadliest tornado on record.

    As the tornado traveled south from Madarganj to Mirzapur in Bangladesh, a distance of over 100 kilometers, it also destroyed an estimated 30,000 homes. Among others, it took out several districts including Madarganj, Gopalpur, Kallhati, Basail, Shakipur and Mrizapur in Jamalpur and Tangail.

  5. 5

    The Tri-State Tornado

    Coming in as the third deadliest tornado ever and the deadliest tornado to hit the United States, the Tri-State Tornado is one for the record books. More than doubling the number of deaths from the previous record, set in 1840 when the Great Natchez Tornado killed 317, the Tri-State Tornado claimed 695 lives on Wednesday, March 18, 1925.

    Hitting the highest rating on the Fujita scale, an F5, the Tri-State Tornado lasted 3.5 hours and spawned eight additional tornadoes which brought the number of fatalities from the storm near 750.

    While the name suggests the Tri-State Tornado hit three United States, it actually reached as many as seven once the other smaller tornadoes were factored in. The main twister, which caused the most deaths, started in Missouri, moved through Illinois and ended its run in Indiana. The other smaller tornadoes touched down in Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and Kansas.

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