NewsGigantic devastation after tornadoes - dozens dead

Gigantic devastation after tornadoes – dozens dead

Kentucky’s Governor Beshear struggles to put the extent of the destruction into words. For more than 300 kilometers, tornadoes destroyed everything on their way and left nothing but rubble.

Mayfield – Rescue teams continue to search for survivors after the devastating tornadoes in the United States, probably with dozens of deaths.

The state of Kentucky is particularly hard hit, where governor Andy Beshear said on Saturday, referring to the destruction, “We are ground zero.” He is certain that the number of deaths will exceed 70 in his state in the southeastern United States alone . “It could even be over 100.” The night on Saturday was “one of the hardest” in Kentucky’s history. “I believe this will be the deadliest tornado that has ever struck Kentucky.”

Path of Desolation

The tornadoes left a swath of devastation in Kentucky for 200 miles. “Everything in her path is gone. Houses, shops, government buildings – just go away. Parts of industrial plants, roofs are in trees. It’s hard to imagine that that’s even possible, ”said Beshear. “The devastation is like nothing I’ve seen in my life, and I struggle to put it into words.”

Among other things, the tornadoes turned a candle factory in Mayfield into a field of rubble – because of the rush hour at Christmas time, work was done there on Saturday night. Only 40 of the 110 people in the factory were saved, said the governor. Where the factory once stood is now a field of rubble more than four meters high with scrap metal and wrecked cars. “It would be a miracle if someone were found alive there.”

“It’s going to be a hard night”

Beshear swore the people in the disaster area to difficult hours in the face of freezing temperatures and widespread power outages. “It’s going to be a rough night for a lot of people in Kentucky,” he said. In the meantime, the governor threatened to lose his voice – for example when he spoke about his father’s hometown, Dawson Springs. “There’s no house a block from my grandparents’ house,” said Beshear. “And we don’t know where all these people are.”

Dawson Springs retiree Lori Wooton told CNN that she sat out the storm in a shelter. There was a big row for three or four seconds, and then the tornado was over. “But when we came out and looked at the damage, it was unbelievable what happened in those three to four seconds.”

Other regions were also hit by the storm system. CNN reported more than 30 tornadoes in six states. Victims were recorded in five of these – Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky, and Arkansas. CNN reported a total of at least 79 deaths. It will be days before the full extent of the disaster is known in the affected states.

Dead in Amazon distribution center

In Illinois, the roof of a distribution center of the online retailer Amazon partially collapsed. Six people died there, 45 people were rescued from the rubble, according to the fire department. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos expressed his dismay at the “tragic reports” from Edwardsville. “We are heartbroken about the loss of our team members,” he tweeted on Sunday night.

The storm system is the latest in a series of natural disasters in the United States. The United States suffered devastating storms, severe flooding and widespread forest fires that year. US President Joe Biden sees the accumulation and severity of the disasters as a consequence of climate change, and he has made combating it one of his top priorities.

Biden agrees to help

Biden pledged aid to the states hit by the tornadoes on Saturday. “I promise you whatever it takes, the federal government will find a way to deliver,” said the president at a short notice in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden on Saturday agreed to a declaration of emergency for the state of Kentucky, the worst hit by the tornadoes. This accelerates federal aid. The governor had previously declared a state of emergency in Kentucky and activated the National Guard.

Tornados in den USA


Rescue workers line the Kentucky 81 to clean up the area after a massive tornado.

Biden said it was not yet clear what specific role climate change played in the recent disaster. However, global warming is contributing to extreme weather conditions. “So we have to act.” The top priority at the moment, however, is “that we have to save everyone who is still alive”. In the face of the disaster, Biden threw his compatriots on to unity. “We’ll get through this together,” he said. “This is one of those moments when we’re neither Democrats nor Republicans.”

Tornados in den USA


Buildings are in ruins in downtown Mayfield, Kentucky after a tornado struck the area Friday night.

Biden announced a visit to the disaster area in Kentucky. But he said he would wait until it did not interfere with the rescue operations. Together with First Lady Jill Biden, he prayed for the victims and their families. dpa

Volcanoes emit "musical" signals 24 hours before an eruption

An investigation into the activity of the Etna volcano, located in southern Italy, revealed that the lava fountain was preceded by an acoustic signal.

What impacts does tree monoculture have?

Unlike a forest, a monoculture is dominated by a single species of tree, which has consequences on ecosystems.

Arid ecosystems predict adaptation to climate change

A recent study shows how important it is to understand the behavior of desert areas to know how other environments will adapt

Our children's graduations mark the end of a stage and remind us how fast...

They say that in raising children the days are long and the years are short, and of course they are right. But perhaps it is especially in these days of school graduations and changes of stage, when we realize it the most.

"The Forest Maker": Schlöndorff as documentary filmmaker

Volker Schlöndorff, he made a documentary about an interesting man from Australia - with a message that you can really use.