Saturday Jul 09, 2011
By
AFP

US tornado toll hits 159 in Joplin

By
AFP
CHICAGO: The toll from the deadliest single tornado to strike the United States in six decades rose to 159 after a woman died of her injuries, officials in Joplin, Missouri said Friday.

That brings the year's total to 545 tornado fatalities, making 2011 the deadliest tornado season since 1936 and the third worst on record, according to the national weather service.

Two bad days accounted for nearly all the deaths: an outbreak of dozens of tornadoes that killed 314 people in five states on April 27 and the massive twister that struck Joplin on May 22.

The nearly mile-wide twister packing winds of more than 200 miles per hour cut a six-mile (nearly 10 kilometer) swath of destruction through the town of 50,000 people.

Officials predict it will cost billions to repair the physical damage caused by the deadly twisters and months for life to return to normal. (AFP)