'Heartbreaking': Tornado kills at least 5 in southeastern Missouri area, causes extensive damage
BOLLINGER, MISSOURI: Five people died during a tornado strike in the southeastern Missouri area. The incident took place during the wee hours of Wednesday, April 5, and the victims were from Bollinger County, 50 miles south of St Louis, said Mark Winkler, director of the Cape Girardeau County Office of Emergency Management. Sgt Clark Parrott of the Missouri State Highway Patrol further said that the tornado moved through the rural area between 3.30 am and 4 am.
"The damage is pretty widespread. It's just heartbreaking to see it," he said. Additionally, a search and rescue operation is underway in which multiple agencies are participating. As per Officer Parrot, crews are using chainsaws to cut back trees and brush to reach the devastated site. MSHP Troop E tweeted, “Patrol is on the scene assisting multiple agencies with search and rescue efforts. Please avoid the area and give first responders room to operate. This picture was taken west of Marble Hill.”
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#tornado #damage from #glenallen #missouri #MoWx #drone pic.twitter.com/0DnGl277Yq— WxChasing- Brandon Clement (@bclemms) April 5, 2023
'It was pretty bad'
According to Justin Gibbs, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Paducah, Kentucky, the tornado stayed on the ground for approximately 15 minutes, moving at an estimated 15-20 miles pace. "It was big. It was a significant tornado," said Gibbs while informing that a weather service team was on its way to Bollinger County to collect information about the tornado.
"I'm getting reports that it was pretty bad. There were several trailers there and I understand that there are still people missing," said Larry Welker, Bollinger County's public administrator, as per CBS News report.
Why tornadoes are so deadly in the US?
An area of low pressure which combines with strong southern winds, set up severe weather conditions, making tornadoes so dangerous in the region, as per Ryan Bunker who is a meteorologist with the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma. These conditions typically comprise of dry air from the West going up over the Rockies and crashing into warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. This complete phenomenon triggers fatal tornadoes and similar storms in the country.