The 5 Most Devastating Tornadoes of All Time

Springtime brings with it warmer weather for certain parts of the globe, though it also has an unwanted meteorological component that often tags along for the ride in tornadoes. The likelihood of devastation and death is often a significant aspect of what this type of weather condition brings about for the unfortunate areas that have to endure such conditions.

Many a tornado has been unleashed over the course of time, with five of them standing out as among the worst in human history:

2015: Yangtze Ferry

In June 2015, a cruise ship carrying 454 people through the Yangtze River in China came across a tornado that caused the vessel to capsize. That proved disastrous for passengers, most of whom were senior citizens, with the tornado lasting less than 20 minutes and spanning a half-mile area.

The area of the disaster had been in a place where a tornado was a regular occurrence, but the ship wasn’t designed to hold up against winds of between 80 and 100 miles per hour. Despite that knowledge, passengers weren’t wearing life jackets when the ship suddenly capsized.

1851: Sicily

Late that year, waterspouts that combined with a hurricane in Marsala, Sicily eventually evolved into a pair of tornadoes that found their way to Castellamare del Golfo. Given the rarity of a tornado sighting in Italy and the surrounding countries and the primitive meteorological tools available, little preparation was available to residents of these areas.

An estimated 500 people lost their lives, with a good portion of Castellamare quickly becoming a wasteland. 40 percent of the victims came from there, with the local harbor destroyed and others dying because of capsized ships that killed the crews on those vessels.

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