Summary: The Joplin Effect

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The Joplin Effect Natural disasters are defined as major adverse events that result from the natural processes on earth. These events include floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other geologic events that can cause loss of life or severe property damage. The severity of the adverse event depends on the affected population’s ability to recover from such an event as well as the infrastructure available. Weather (meteorological) disasters are adverse events triggered from extreme weather conditions causing violent and sudden destructive changes to the environment related to, produced by, or affecting the earth’s atmosphere and weather-forming processes. Tornadoes are one such weather process that …show more content…
The skies were cloudy and the afternoon called for thunderstorms with some potentially severe. Joplin is located in southwestern Missouri and surprising enough, not a part of the tornado alley. The tornado alley is a wide swath of tornado-prone areas that stretch east of the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachian Mountains, which experience frequent tornadoes. The tornado first touched down at 5:39pm just outside of JJ highway and West 32nd street. Wheatley (2013) stated storm chasers reported seeing multiple vortices around the main circulation of the tornado before becoming engulfed in rain. The Joplin tornado was a multi-vortex tornado, meaning it had multiple suction vortices swirling around the center of the tornado. According to Lutgens and Tarbuck (2014), “suction vortices have diameters of about 10 meters and rotate very rapidly. This structure accounts for occasional observation of virtually total destruction of one building while another one, just 10 meters away, suffers little damage …show more content…
In the U.S., we see an average of 1000 tornadoes annually, of which most of them are located inside the tornado alley mentioned earlier in the paper. Technology allows us to predict tornadoes, but not prevent them. Humankind must take proper precautions when severe thunderstorms (super cells) are present. Most cities and towns within a tornado area have sirens that will alert people if a funnel cloud has been spotted or a tornado has touched down. What we do with this information can be the difference between life and death. In Joplin, only 161 people were killed because of the residents’ ability to react to the sirens and take proper shelter from the incoming wrath of the EF-5

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