May 22, 2013

USA: Moore, Oklahoma Tornado Packed More Energy Than Atomic Bomb Dropped On Hiroshima. The EF-5 Twister Ranged From Eight To More Than 600 Times That Bomb’s Power. Hmm...

The NY Daily News
written by David Knowles
Tuesday May 21, 2013

Revising initial estimates, meteorologists upgraded Monday’s unbelievable 1.3-mile-wide tornado to an EF-5, the highest rating.

It really was as if a bomb went off.

The tornado that leveled Moore, Okla., on Monday contained more energy than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, five separate meteorologists have found.

Using real-time measurements, the meteorologists contacted by the Associated Press calculated the energy released during the tornado's 40-plus minutes on the ground and concluded that it ranged from eight to more than 600 times the power of the Hiroshima bomb.

After surveying the full-scale damage to homes, shopping centers, and schools, the National Weather Service upgraded the storm to a top-of-the-scale EF-5 tornado with winds estimated between 200 and 210 mph.

The 17-mile swath of destruction left by the 1.3-mile-wide twister stunned residents, many of whom were still struggling to come to terms with their memories of the storm.

"It was the scariest thing I've ever experienced in my life," Shannon Workman, a mother who rushed her 3-year-old son from a day care center just before the storm hit, told the Oklahoman. "As I look at where this building was, I still can't believe we all survived."

The death toll was revised downward to 24 people, officials said, but that number was expected to rise as emergency crews continued to search for victims.

In several neighborhoods, survivors confronted a stark before-and-after picture, as cement foundations were all that remained where houses once stood.

"You just never imagine that you're going to walk out of your classroom and there's going to be nothing there," Sheri Bittle, a teacher at Briarwood Elementary School, told ABC News.

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