Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The #day after disaster - #Moore, Oklahoma

Oklahoma National Guard Soldiers and Airmen respond to a devastating tornado that ripped through
Moore, Okla., May 20, 2013. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kendall James)
Tragedy in Moore, Oklahoma

Destruction and chaos enveloped the seventh largest city in Oklahoma yesterday as an EF4 tornado swept through Moore, Oklahoma. This is the fourth time in five years the community has been struck by a tornado but this tornado has been the most damaging. Ninety-one people are reported to have died as I write this blog, twenty of whom were children. No doubt that the number will rise as the recovery search continues. Most of these children came from the two schools that laid directly in the two mile long tornado's path. Rescuers have been on the ground with the National Guard searching every bit of the wreckage since Monday night. There have been no more bodies recovered nor survivors rescued since Monday night as I write this at 4:20pm on Tuesday afternoon. You can read more about the rescue efforts at http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/live-updates-from-the-devastation-in-oklahoma/. Like the destruction in Henryville, Indiana, where an EF4 tornado destroyed the town on March 2, 2012, it could take up to a year for the residents to rebuild their town and their lives.

Moore, OK, May 10, 2003 -- This is the fourth time in five years that Moore has been struck by tornadoes.
Photo by Bob McMillan/FEMA News Photo

Tornadoes are classified via the Fujita Scale based on the amount of damage produced to man made structures and vegetation. The Fujita Scale was introduced in 1971 by by Tetsuya Fujita of the University of Chicago, in collaboration with Allen Pearson, head of the National Severe Storms Forecast Center and was updated in 1973.

Meteorologists and engineers use this scale to determine the strength of a tornado only after they gather and study evidence from ariel and ground surveys. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances, they will supplement their reports with ground-swirl patterns (cycloidal marks), eyewitness testimonies, radar tracking, damage imagery, media reports, as well as photogrammetry or videogrammetry. The graphic below shows the Fijuita Scale with typical wind speeds and damage associated with each type of tornado.

As you can tell by the photos and this chart those who survived the tornado are very fortunate to be alive. May we never forget the residents of Moore, Oklahoma. It is times like these that we should pull together as one nation and help the victims. If you want to help the residents of Moore, Oklahoma please contact the American Red Cross, Salvation Army or any other non-profit agency who is helping. Do not go into Moore at this time as it is too dangerous for anyone to walk through the ruined city. Rescue teams are still searching every nook and cranny in order to save as many people as they can.

No comments:

Post a Comment