Q:

How do tornadoes affect people?

A:

Quick Answer

Tornadoes injure and kill people, destroy property, take a heavy financial toll, disrupt communication and create severe anxiety. The number of deaths due to tornadoes varies significantly from year to year. For example, according to NOAA, in 2008, 126 people died, but in the following year, only 21 lives were lost. Tornadoes killed 553 people in 2011, but just 70 in 2012.

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How do tornadoes affect people?
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Full Answer

Though tornadoes cause injury during the storm, a great deal of harm occurs after the storm, as well. In these cases, people are trying to rescue others, clean up, inspect damage or simply move through the affected area. Power lines and gas lines are often disturbed, leading to explosions or electrocutions. Phone lines come down, and those that still work are overtaxed. A single tornado can cause millions or billions of dollars of destruction. A May 2013 tornado in Oklahoma killed more than 20 people and injured dozens. Initial economic damages were estimated at $1.2 billion to $2 billion. Surviving a severe storm affects some people's emotional well-being, especially children. They fear a re-occurrence or being left alone during a storm. Some see the tornado as punishment for bad behavior. Individuals of all ages seek professional counseling to deal with the aftermath of the storm.

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Related Questions

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    Why do we have tornadoes?

    A:

    Tornadoes are formed when warm air combines into storm clouds causing an updraft that mixes with a burst of colder air, which leads to rotation within the cloud. The down draft of cooler air causes the tornado to form, pulling more warm air from the ground. As the updraft strengthens, it mixes to create a spot of low pressure that pulls at the cloud's vortex and forms a funnel cloud.

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    Where do tornadoes occur most often?

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    Areas that experience the highest number of tornadoes each year include the United States, Argentina and Bangladesh. While tornadoes form in many different parts of the world, certain conditions cater to the formation of frequent tornado outbreaks.

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    Why are there no tornadoes in California?

    A:

    Tornadoes rarely occur in California because of the state's dry climate and low thunderstorm rate. According to the Tornado Project, California experienced approximately 300 tornadoes between 1950 and 2014. Californian tornadoes are generally small, weak and occur in California's Central Valley.

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    How are tornadoes predicted?

    A:

    According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the conditions that can spawn a tornado occur so suddenly that accurately predicting a tornado more than a few minutes ahead of time is extremely difficult. The National Weather Service issues tornado watches when conditions are conducive to tornado formation in order to keep citizens alert and listening to weather broadcasts for storm warnings.

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