Apocalypse Now : tornadoes in the Midwest of the US

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It was 11am this Sunday in the state of Washington when the sky fell on the 10,000 inhabitants who took shelter in the church. Some people took refuge in their basements or in the refrigerators of stores. Their houses were swept away within a couple of seconds. Everything was gone : their memories, their houses, their whole lives. Fortunately, they were still alive.

Seven counties were declared in a state of disaster area. Indeed, the tornadoes also hit other towns which included Pekin and Peoria. The Red Cross organized rescue and help in the district of Peoria. Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois, reported nearly 400 homes destroyed in Washington. Many people were injured during the storm and seven people found death, among whom an elderly man and his sister who died in their farmhouse.

People exposed themselves to the storm generating dangerous behaviour. They scrutinized the sky, looking for signs of the imminent tornadoes thinking they were far away enough and they would have time to hide. Tornadoes have such an unpredictable pattern that wherever people are, they can get to them really fast.

Meteorologists explained that tornadoes by that time of the year are not rare and people should have been prepared. Temparatures on Sunday reached between 15°C and 20°C which is hot enough to create a tornado added to strong winds.

Armelle DE OLIVEIRA 3F-G1

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