Most of the world’s most destructive tornado events occur in the United States, but tornadoes do cause violent destructive damage in other countries around the world. The most destructive tornadoes cause massive loss of property, and many precious lives are lost during these storm events each year.
Tornadoes are classified in categories ranging from F0 to F6, and these categories differ by the wind speed and size of the tornado once it has made contact with the ground. Around the world some of these tornadoes have wiped out whole towns and killed hundreds of people. Some of these storms were so violent and destructive that they made it in this article, so that we can always be reminded of the seriousness of getting to a safe place when a tornado is barreling down on us.
Sometimes the most destructive tornado events happen when multiple tornadoes seemingly work together to wipe out the landscape like an enormous pencil eraser. When this type of weather event happens, the aftermath resembles that of a war zone after days of carpet-bombing. The environment is dangerous and deadly, because of leaking gas lines and live electrical wire scattered all about.
Tornadoes are nothing to play around with, so do not grab your video camera to try to catch a glimpse of the massive wall of dark blowing wind charging in your path. Losing your life or putting the lives of others is just not worth trying to record the event. No, instead get to a room or a place on the lowest area of your home and away from any windows (as breaking windows and flying glass could cause injury or death). Keep flashlights, batteries, a weather radio, matches/lighter, and a first aid kit in a safe place, so when or if they are ever needed, then you will have them ready when you need them the most.
Tri-State Tornado - March 18, 1925
One of the most well documented tornadoes that hit the United States plowed through the Tri-State region of Missouri, southern Illinois and parts of southwest Indiana. The 219-mile path of destruction that the tornado left behind killed 695 people and injured an incredible 2,771 people, while causing a massive loss in property. The tornado probably a F5 is the next to the most destructive category of tornado with a sustained wind speed of 261 mph to 318 mph and has the power to destroy strong wood framed houses and cause noticeable damage to steel-reinforced concrete buildings in its path.
Talladega County, Alabama Tornado - March 21, 1932
A massive F4 tornado tore through the county of Talladega leaving in its wake killed 70 people and injuring more than 325. The extent of the damage accounted for 600 homes either totally destroyed or damaged. The tornado is considered to be the most destructive storm ever recorded in the area.
Gainesville, Georgia Tornado - April 6, 1936
The potential destructive power of one tornado can level many buildings and kill hundreds of people, but when two equally violent tornadoes cross paths, then the destructive force can break weather records like what happened in 1936, in Gainesville, Georgia. When two violent twisters joined forces just west of the city to form a ½ mile wide funnel that utterly destroyed 285 buildings, killed 203 people and injured another 934 people, this was the worst tornado event in the county's history.
Indiana Tornadoes - April 11, 1965
The deadliest and most destructive day in Hoosier history happened on Palm Sunday (April 11) 1965, killing 265 people, injuring 1700 plus people in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. During this storm event, there were 11 reported tornadoes that ripped through 20 counties, leveling and damaging buildings and homes that were estimated to cost $30 million dollars.
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada Cyclone - June 30, 1912
A massively destructive cyclone (tornado) marched through regions of Canada in mid-afternoon on June 30, 1912 south of Regina in Saskatchewan Canada. The tornado charged violently across 18 ½ miles of earth for a terrifying three minutes that killed 28 people, injuring 2500 people and causing more than $1.2 million dollars in damage. An estimated 500 buildings were either damaged or totally destroyed. In 1912, $1.2 million dollars was a whole lot of money and any time life is lost, it is devastating in any amount.
Edmonton, Canada Tornado - July 31, 1987
In Edmonton, Canada, a freighting tornado event that killed 27 people and destroyed or damaged many buildings in the area was captured on video, so that people can see how destructive these storms can be. Besides, running from the terrifying winds that can left buildings off of their foundations and throw them through the air like sacks of potatoes, there usually is large hail, flooding and heavy rains accompanying these storms that can wipeout whatever the tornadoes missed.
Bulahdelah Tornado, New South Wales, Australia - January 1, 1970
In terms of destruction, the Bulahdelah Tornado that struck near the city of Newcastle in New South Wales Australia was estimated to be a mighty F4 or F5 tornado that destroyed more than one million trees, but on the bright side no lives were lost during the event. The environmentally impact will take decades to recover from and no amount of money can speed up the growth time of the trees that are planted to replace the trees that were lost.
Tennessee Tornado - November 21, 1900
Leaving behind a path of destruction and over 50 people dead and hundreds of buildings and houses damaged or destroyed. The Tennessee Tornado was about 350 yards wide and destroyed everything that was in the storm's path. The tornado continued to wreak havoc in Arkansas and Mississippi where the tornado devastated the cotton crops on many farms and uprooting trees, and then depositing those trees in the cotton fields. The tornado suspected to have been a F4 or F5 flattened buildings, libraries and damaged about 2-miles of train track between the McKenzie and Henry Station.
For the complete story of these events, read this New York Times article. Please be warned that this article was written in 1900 and the description of some of the people that survived or died in the tornadoes would be considered a bit racist in today's language.
Carolinas Tornado Outbreak - March 28, 1984
Throughout the afternoon and evening hours of March 28, 1984, an ominous serious of tornadoes were preparing to devastate the Carolinas. As twenty-two tornadoes touched down causing over $200 million dollars in and killing 57 people, while leaving 1,248 injured. The violent tornado outbreak swept across the state in a show of force that will remain in the memories of the survivors for many years to come.
Pennsylvania-Ohio Tornadoes - May 31, 1985
In the late afternoon-evening of May 31, 1985 a series of deadly tornadoes push a path of nearly mind boggling devastation as on this day out of the 41 tornadoes reported a total of 27 tornadoes struck a powerful one-two punch to the states of Pennsylvania and Ohio. Hundreds of buildings and homes were damaged or completely leveled, which totaled more than $450 million dollars in property damage. There was even a higher loss of life in which 75 deaths and 1,025 injuries were reported to authorities.