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April 28, 2011 Permalink

Tornadoes kill over 200

Over 200 are dead after over a hundred separate tornadoes left a trail of destruction across five states in the American South. The nation appears headed for a record number of tornadoes this year. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been mobilized to deal with the aftermath. Tornado watches were issued for the entire East Coast as the storm system that caused the destruction yesterday moved to new ground. -- Lane Turner (23 photos total)

Faye Hyde sits on a mattress in what was her yard as she comforts her granddaughter Sierra Goldsmith, 2, in Concord, Ala. April 27. Their home was destroyed. A wave of tornado-spawning storms strafed the South on Wednesday, splintering buildings across hard-hit Alabama and killing nearly 200 people in four states. At least 58 people died in Alabama alone. (Jeff Roberts/The Birmingham News/AP)
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257 comments so far...

my heart goes out to all.

Posted by justin April 28, 11 02:07 PM


Posted by Ya April 28, 11 02:11 PM

Thank God that the US government provides the people with enough food and healthcare instead of spending the taxpayers money on bombing "terrorists"

Posted by Angela Merkel April 28, 11 02:14 PM

This seriously looks more like a Hurricane. Complete destruction....May God be with these people in their time of need.

Posted by Marlon Correa April 28, 11 02:23 PM

Looks like Japan after the quake -- whole towns reduced to flinders

Posted by sm April 28, 11 02:25 PM

fatevi le case in mattoni e cemento invece che di compensato e cartone, va!!!

Posted by Enrico April 28, 11 02:28 PM


Posted by emily April 28, 11 02:29 PM

We here in Atlanta really dodged a bullet yesterday and are thinking our less fortunate neighbors.

Posted by CosmicLint April 28, 11 02:29 PM

We had a scary night of watching and waiting in South Atlanta. Dodged a bullet this time. We feel for the folks around the Southeast who were devastated by this natural disaster.

Posted by Chuck April 28, 11 02:30 PM

Our lives are truly nothing but a vapor

Posted by Zack April 28, 11 02:32 PM

This is very sad.
In my country we build all house in concrete, Why don't people in the USA do the same?

Posted by Floyd April 28, 11 02:34 PM

This is really incredible photojournalism. I feel terrible for the families...I didn't know the damage was this potent.

Posted by Trudy April 28, 11 02:37 PM


Posted by jooleeuhhh April 28, 11 02:41 PM

Our thoughts and prayers to those affected. The damage is astonishing.

Posted by Ryan April 28, 11 02:47 PM

Wow, what an awful experience that may have been for those people. I pray they find more survivors and that the people of the areas affected get some relief.

Posted by Vic April 28, 11 02:49 PM

We've had so many weather problems this year and last. Best wishes to everyone in the South right now.

Posted by AndrewNoNumbers April 28, 11 02:51 PM


Posted by erykco April 28, 11 02:52 PM

wow...the force of nature

Posted by afby April 28, 11 02:53 PM

The pictures have an uncanny resemblance to Iraq and Afghanistan...

Posted by WhoKnows April 28, 11 02:54 PM

It's the end of the world as we know it.

Posted by Luis Miguel Vargas April 28, 11 02:55 PM

Unbelievable. #6, Pratt City, Alabama, looks like Hamburger Hill...

Posted by Andrew April 28, 11 03:01 PM

Devastating--heart goes out to Alabama :(

Posted by spork_or_foon April 28, 11 03:05 PM

I am so heartbroken over what has happened to my lovely home state. My prayers are with y'all.

Posted by Dragynwing April 28, 11 03:09 PM

No words can describe what is happening. The most shocking picture I found was the one with the upside-down car with the blood draining out... This is so unreal...

Best of luck from the Netherlands!

Posted by Bas Schouten April 28, 11 03:15 PM

That's an insane blood spill coming out of the car in 20.

Posted by El Demonio April 28, 11 03:15 PM

#17 -- the smartest people in the world!

Posted by practical pig April 28, 11 03:17 PM

Photo 23. The expression on the guy's face on the left wearing the red suspenders. Says it all.

Posted by Kenny McCarthy April 28, 11 03:19 PM

This rare weather event is looking like part of a pattern. Climate change is the likely cause. We must do our part to mitigate the amount of waste we produce, as this effects the water, and so, the weather cycle. We must also require buildings to have safe rooms in areas where these things are possible, or likely in the event of climate change.

Posted by Haz0 April 28, 11 03:20 PM

#20. It looks like blood streaming from the flipped over car. Thoughts and prayers are with you from Canada!

Posted by Justin April 28, 11 03:23 PM


Posted by Jack Liu April 28, 11 03:24 PM


Posted by MJ April 28, 11 03:25 PM

Tragic and heart wrenching

Posted by Harlan April 28, 11 03:35 PM


Posted by Guto April 28, 11 03:36 PM

totally heart wrenching -

i don't not believe in helping as we can around the world -

but there should be no hesitation, no pause, in helping ourselves here at home as well....

Posted by adan April 28, 11 03:38 PM

Build buildings with stones, will solve this problem...
I'am sorry for these tornadoe victims

Posted by Jazz April 28, 11 04:00 PM

and we dare to complain about snow!

Posted by marilee pittman April 28, 11 04:09 PM

My heart goes out to all the people who lost loved ones.

#17 gave me goosebumps.

Posted by Smark April 28, 11 04:11 PM

To our good friends and neighbors in the south, our thoughts, prayers and hopes for recovery are with you.

Posted by Minnesota April 28, 11 04:13 PM

Wooden houses are built then it is a cry! Use a concrete!

Posted by fawlfaw April 28, 11 04:17 PM


Posted by Jeff April 28, 11 04:17 PM

oh my! Hope they can recover right away...

prayers to yall!

Posted by elmo April 28, 11 04:17 PM

condolences from Spain.

Posted by Luis April 28, 11 04:18 PM

The destruction is unbelievable. The forces of Nature's ire are unleashed.

Posted by Javier Cassio April 28, 11 04:18 PM

i hope GOD to be by their side and take care of them.... its ruefull what happend here

Posted by David Gerbier April 28, 11 04:25 PM

Incredible damage. Thanks for the coverage.

Posted by Shawn April 28, 11 04:31 PM

ok so i don't live in the united states and i have this question. why are they building wooden houses in places like these? these houses look like that can fall over even with a simple kick. haven't they invented cement, bricks and mortar yet?????

Posted by phil jackson April 28, 11 04:34 PM

The pictures are amazing as usual. However, check the AP style for the headline. It should read: "Tornado kills more than 300" rather than "over 300".

Posted by Matt April 28, 11 04:34 PM

wow. This is crazy. I prayin' for you guys, keep faith in God!

"You give and take away, my heart has chased to say; blessed be our Name"
(Matt Redaman)

Posted by SAM_France April 28, 11 04:39 PM

wow. This is crazy. I prayin' for you guys, keep faith in God!

"You give and take away, my heart has chased to say; blessed be our Name"
(Matt Redaman)

Posted by SAM_France April 28, 11 04:40 PM

This is such a heartbreaking story, day and memory that will be hard to forget or get over! The whole world who believes in the LORD is lifting everyone up in prayers and doing our best to have faith things will get better. God Bless everyone who have lost family members, homes and everything they owned. God Bless!

Posted by Courtney April 28, 11 04:45 PM

Now there's something worth covering. Thanks.

Posted by Frederik April 28, 11 04:45 PM

These photos are heartbreaking. My prayers go out to all those who have lost loved ones or have been displaced by these storms.

Posted by J.Tozzo April 28, 11 04:46 PM

There are no words. Praying for those affected.

Posted by Max April 28, 11 04:49 PM

#20: That looks like blood under the car, no? A bit red for oil !? That's sad, in any case.
Anyway, from an european point of view, this is very surprising to see that most of the houses in america are made with wood, without foundations !
I don't have any little idea of the power of such tornadoes, but I would be more confident with strong brick walls and foundations :s
Surrealist "landscapes" ! "Good luck" :s

Posted by Nrf April 28, 11 04:50 PM

Hope there will be fast help for all people in these areas. Mother Nature sometimes is not very nice...

Posted by werner April 28, 11 05:05 PM

Unreal. Praying for the families who have lost loved ones today...

Posted by Josh C. April 28, 11 05:05 PM

I'm speechless :( praying for all those people

Posted by Anonymous April 28, 11 05:18 PM

Sad, I hope the affected residents receive all necessary help soon.

By the way: is there a good reason for those wooden lightweight constructions? I could be wrong, but I think Florida has some restrictive regulations to protect buildings from damage caused by hurricanes.

Posted by Norbert April 28, 11 05:35 PM

My prayers and thoughts are with you....

Posted by Geneviève April 28, 11 05:39 PM


(what's that red thing under the overturned car on #20? I hope that's not what i think…)

Posted by tshirtman April 28, 11 05:42 PM

:-( Combined death toll now >300

Posted by Chris April 28, 11 05:43 PM

Meus mais sinceros sentimentos ao afetados...

From Santo André, SP (Brazil)

Posted by Marcio Ferreira April 28, 11 05:48 PM

Words can not express how I feel...I ask that God be with all...Give you the strength to carry on...and ask that everyone come together and send prayers...God Bless

Posted by D.Wright April 28, 11 05:53 PM

My heart goes out to those affected by the tornadoes.
This situation is surreal.

Posted by Kimberly V. April 28, 11 06:36 PM

Oh my god, is that blood under the car in number 20?

Posted by Andrew April 28, 11 06:46 PM

I am very Happy To See How These Town People Pull Them Selves Up To Help Each Other After A Terrible Act Of Nature...
A World Full Of Strangers But In The Mist Of Tragedy "FRIENDS"

Posted by Toni Aull April 28, 11 06:49 PM

#4. American Heroes.

Posted by Mark G April 28, 11 07:06 PM

Unreal. Go ahead and tell everyone in those photos that there is no such thing as global warming. Seriously, go ahead, I'll wait.

Posted by Dan April 28, 11 07:09 PM

God bless us all !!

Posted by AniD April 28, 11 07:16 PM

#2 Scary...

Posted by Jonas April 28, 11 07:26 PM

what a sad scene... I am really sorry for your loss.
Please accept my deepest sympathy from Japan.

Posted by YK722 April 28, 11 07:46 PM

very worrying, hopefully can quickly recover and they remain steadfast and patient in facing this disaster

Posted by Ano April 28, 11 08:05 PM

Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth
as it is in Heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil
For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power and the glory
For ever and ever.

Posted by Ted April 28, 11 08:14 PM

Terrible and heart-wrenching. Hopefully the local and federal support for survivors of this disaster will be better than what happened after Katrina.

Posted by AJ April 28, 11 08:19 PM

Shocking devestation. My thoughts are with the victims.

Posted by Jeb April 28, 11 08:19 PM

Mother Nature...incredible.

Posted by Phillip B. April 28, 11 08:26 PM

So sad. I live in the Caribbean, where tornadoes are not a part of our landscape. It is heartbreaking to look at these pictures. May God be with them all, and may the authorities and relatives rise to the occasion. God bless you all.

Posted by Jody April 28, 11 08:32 PM

All I can say is that when my hometown, Oelwein, Iowa, was hit by a tornado in 1968, it was devastating -- and these pictures depict that same thing: devastating. God be with you all. The trees are what I remember the most, totally stripped.

Posted by Kathy Adams April 28, 11 09:04 PM

very sad. pray for all of you.

Posted by alumni23 April 28, 11 09:10 PM

Incroyable. Courage pour la reconstruction...
Et merci pour les photos, très révélatrice.

Posted by Caroline April 28, 11 09:10 PM

The common denominator in most of these photos is that people are tending to one another. That's about the only good thing in a disaster like this ... but still very good to see.

Posted by laurenleep April 28, 11 09:11 PM

pray for US citizens..
from China

Posted by 老墨 April 28, 11 09:24 PM

Did anyone read the three little pigs?

Posted by Flow April 28, 11 09:24 PM

On #20, is that blood coming from that car..?

Posted by Samuel April 28, 11 09:44 PM

wow. my condolences.

Posted by pete April 28, 11 09:48 PM

UNBELIEVABLE!!!! My thoughts are with all of those affected. I was about 20 miles north of so much damage....I got really lucky.

Posted by Anthony Schwartz April 28, 11 09:51 PM

very sad ...

but I have to add that I never quite understood why our american friends build such fragile houses (wooden), I'm willing to bed many of our houses would withstand that wind (roofs and windows not without structural enhancement) but the bottom line is, they would stand and give shelter to people.

Posted by Andy April 28, 11 10:00 PM

wow, and not all pics of mobile homes.

Posted by Tim VH April 28, 11 10:01 PM

sometimes is such a cruel world we live in

Posted by chris April 28, 11 10:12 PM

Heartbreaking devastation. Thoughts going out to everyone involved in this catastrophic event.

Posted by Nicola, Canada. April 28, 11 10:13 PM

The devastation has a similar look to that of Japan. I just hope all of our government money set aside for emergency, hasn't gone to fund revolution/overthrow/war in other countries. Lets hope we can count on our own, to take care of our own.
Boom De Yada.

Posted by jerryb. April 28, 11 10:17 PM

Nature sends all kinds of warnings, here and there but malfunctioned receivers. Wait for the crescendo, couple of volcanos in jam session with earthquakes and tsunami.. Nice reformatting. Don't worry I'll be also those would be perished ones.

Posted by selcuk Askin April 28, 11 10:21 PM

Thoughts and prayers going out to the folks affected. Thanks to the photographers for getting out there and documenting this. Hopefully the photos will elicit more aid.

Posted by B April 28, 11 10:26 PM

This is really sad.Poor families lost their houses hundreds of people died.Pray this stop happening again.

Posted by Abdul Rafay April 28, 11 10:44 PM

God bless you, we will try to help you as much as we can

Peace from Saudi Arabia

Posted by Mohammed Ahmed April 28, 11 10:44 PM

As a property claims adjuster that handles this part of the South...I can assure you that this catastrophe is one of the most devastating I have seen in the 15 years I have been doing this.

In fact when I first saw the AP photos, it reminded me of time spent in the field dealing with huge hurricanes in the early to mid 00's. The damage (while most horrific in the areas that are making headlines) is quite widespread. I can only ask that you say a prayer for the survivors of loss with a special thought for those who have passed-on as a result.

Please think of what you have and who you love...Add this context to it, and do what you can to help.

Posted by Mike April 28, 11 10:46 PM

wow..very sad ...

Posted by pepeng April 28, 11 10:56 PM

God Bless Sweet Home Alabama

Posted by Gerald April 28, 11 10:59 PM

For those concerned, it's almost certainly Engine oil or Transmission fluid that has leaked out from under that overturned car in pic 20.
The latter is quite red after all.
Cars are not very good at holding their fluids when they are upside down.

Posted by Terry April 28, 11 11:45 PM

Many homes aren't built with basements or are built on concrete slabs because of the level of the water table. With that said, because of the size and ferocity of these storms, even the strongest buildings were destroyed. There was so little time to seek shelter and very few places to go. This a a tragedy that we thought we would never see because of our technology. So many people lost. So many homes gone. My heart goes out to my fellow countrymen.

Posted by lifeline April 28, 11 11:53 PM

These pictures of destructions remind me something. I have seen this destructions before. Yes, I got it. I saw the same pictures of destructions in Afghanistan and Iraq when US led NATO force attacked them.

Posted by Stepan Razin April 28, 11 11:56 PM

I never had faith in God, but this is another reason not to embrace an imaginary man in the sky. Even if God was true, he is apparently powerless to help, and completely disconnected from things that happen on Earth. I can't understand why so many people talk about God in their comments here, when in reality what we have are rescue crews, family, friends, and community members to help and turn to. God is not in the equation at all.

Posted by Bill Posters April 28, 11 11:58 PM

Wow. I can understand why it's hard to believe in God in times like this--it's incomprehensible. I try to remember that the New Testament makes no promises of a life without hardship or tragedy. Jesus is my hope:

"In this world you will have trouble, but take heart; for I have overcome the world." John 16:33b

I don't believe in God less for these things; I need Him more. In Christ we don't find that we have the answers for why these things happen, but we do see a God who came down and suffered tragedy as well. If I have to choose between knowing why and having hope, I'll choose hope. This isn't to minimize the tragedy nor to make an other's pain into an opportunity to espouse religion. No, rather this is religion in it's proper function: to give hope to the hurting. I don't deny the hurt. But I won't deny hope either.
On #20, I am not sure if it's blood. It could be, but judging from the positioning I'd say it could also be transmission fluid. But I'm no expert.

Posted by MPWorth April 29, 11 12:02 AM

Our thoughts and prayer go out to you. we are still just mere humans trying to live and survive. If we are to survive, we must lean to help one another. and be a little more kind to one another. Life is to fast and short just to worry about ones self. and our own mere problems we must be willing to change the way we treat one another and our familys must learn to forgive. May you all form this day forward. Make it a mission to help one another that are in need Black White Red Brown . We all hurt we all cry. We all need one another in this world to survive.

Posted by Anonymous April 29, 11 12:10 AM

I'm a three time tornado survivor from Oklahoma from the 1998 1999 2003 Tornado's that hit the Moore, Oklahoma area. I know what these people are feeling thier lives will never be the same. I lost two houses because of my experience with the affects of Tornado's I have postramatic stress disorder.that is the same feeling that solders go through. The first thing that I did was take pictures of the damage so that you can remember what your house looked like before you fix or rebuild it second I hope you took a video or pictures of your personal property because the insurance company's want details I had 4 pages front and back of Items that were destroyed. this saved my life.

Posted by Don w. Staley April 29, 11 12:14 AM

How can everybody say "We're praying to God" when you look at these pictures. Where the heck was he when the Tornado struck?

You'll have better luck trying to appease good old Mother Nature with your prayers....or maybe Mother Goose. It's all crap that takes away from the hard working Americans who are there carrying out the sick and dying.

Praying helps no one. People do.

Posted by Tony Stark April 29, 11 12:21 AM

I feel so helpless when I see such devastation as this. My heart is overwhelmed these past months with all the tragedy in the world--it seems never-ending. Keep faith , keep your hope & sense of humour & it will be easier to bear. Share what you can, when you can . And always show you care, it is always appreciated. Just to let you know that you have people who care , even in Canada.

Posted by Donna Maroulis April 29, 11 12:22 AM


Posted by Ericfeng April 29, 11 12:28 AM

Even commercial buildings with strong foundations and steel framing could not withstand this kind of storm!.. Last night, IN West Knoxville, Tennessee, we had small storms but bad enough to turn trees upside down and the large hail made holes in cars and dameged the roofs of our houses. High wind and heavy large hails storming on the top of roofs made us run for protection in our flooded basement where the water was gushing beneath us into the garage. The sound of the large hail sounded if someone was throwing large rocks on top of the house. The large wind twisted and stripped leaves off trees. Amazing and scary scenery! . You just never know when you get hit by a storm!.. However thank God non of us got hurt!.. But we feel bad for those who did!

Posted by Akram Al-Hussein April 29, 11 12:28 AM

I guess "god" don't like Alabama. This was not a blessing, but a full smote-down.

Posted by Zero Mostel April 29, 11 12:33 AM

hope you all be good. an English teacher from China.

Posted by Asuka April 29, 11 01:08 AM

If you live within a day's drive of a tornado disaster, you really ought to consider spending a day or a weekend going to help clean up. I helped clean up at Greensburg in '07, and to see the spirit of the survivors in the face of complete destruction, having lost everything, it is uplifting. I helped a complete stranger load his rain-soaked belongings out of his basement, he cried when I told him I'd come to help. His fingers were all bandaged after slicing them on glass rescuing his elderly neighbour (and saving her life), yet it didn't stop him from working. Thank goodness tornados are rare back home in Australia.

Posted by Jason April 29, 11 01:19 AM

I know most of you aren't familiar with these areas of Alabama; being a native let me clear some things up. We do build with stone and brick here, you probably can't tell in a lot of these pictures cause it is gone. We build the outside with brick and the inside with wood on top of a foundation. Of course brick is more expensive than wood and was also less common in architecture in older buildings. Where this tornado hit was lower-income areas for the most part so there are less brick homes. Someone else commented that this tornado destroyed almost everything in its path. It will most likely be classified as an EF5 (if you don't know what that is look it up) which very few things can withstand. This amount of destruction couldn't be prevented, and now we have to pull together to clean it up and help as many of those that are hurting as we can.

Posted by Cris Lee April 29, 11 01:27 AM

Dear Bill Posters (#102)
You can't find God in the details of nature- You would only see the hurricanes and tornadoes as evidence of God's wrath. You would only see mountain valleys teeming with wildflowers as God's divine beauty. The tornado is just the nature of convection along frontal boundaries. It is not wrathful, targeting, punishment for, etc. The tornadoes are no more evidence of lack of God then the wildflowers are evidence of God's niceties. You can't know God's love through nature. I don't know a lot of Bible quotes, and I don't expect to convince you otherwise. I just thought it was important to note that true faith or disbelief in God shouldn't be based on weather and tragedy. That was the classic Greek's bread and butter. In the past 3000 years, we've learned a lot about how the world works. The religion that tells us this life is just a phase of our deeper existence (and provides those who were caught in this storm's path great comfort) and the science that shows us how these events occur need not negate each other. Don't think of God as power to help against the force of wind, but as the fabric that binds us and inspires us to help each other in the aftermath.

Posted by Ryan McGrath April 29, 11 02:01 AM

Lets start build houses from bricks and concrete. In our country there are no problems with strong wind. Build houses from wood, it is just good bussiness for some companies. Switch on your brains and start thinking America.

Posted by Europan April 29, 11 02:03 AM

If you choose not to believe in God because you feel that life should be without any heartache then that is your choice. But do not try to take the hope and faith away from another. Sometimes a little faith is all a person has to hold on to. And if that is what it takes for someone to make it through a tragedy like this, then how dare you try to take it away from them!!!!

Posted by Sarah April 29, 11 02:18 AM

I am a native from Alabama living in Washington State now. Looking at these pictures, my heart is breaking. I am most thankful that my family is safe and that they have the love and support from family and friends to help rebuild what has been ripped from them. I must comment on some of the comments that I have read about "why would people build wood houses in a place that is prone to tornados", " haven't they invented cement, bricks and mortar yet?????". Maybe these people should look closer at the cell towers that are twisted, the brick buildings that were leveled. I could go on and on. Like 113 said, " It will most likely be classified as an EF5 (if you don't know what that is look it up) which very few things can withstand".
My question is, why do people build house overlooking cliffs that are prone to earthquakes, build houses next to mountains that explode with hot lava, build houses next to nuclear plants, ect. ?
What we need to be concerned about is all the people who have lost their lives, family who has lost a loved one, those poor people who have lost their homes and their work place, how there is not enough food or gasoline, no power. We should all say a prayer for those people and lend a hand to our neighbor in helping them rebuild, offering a room for shelter, a blanket for a child to sleep on, a hot meal, a warm shower. These are the things that are most important in a time such as these. My love and support to all of my Alabama family and friends.

Posted by S. Hiltner April 29, 11 02:23 AM

god bless everyone。preview

Posted by _Nover April 29, 11 03:51 AM

I don't understand you Americans.
The richest country in the world and you are building wooden&paper houses.
Even here in backward former-communist country we have houses built of concrete&brick...

Posted by Andrej April 29, 11 03:58 AM


Posted by 林文凭 April 29, 11 04:57 AM

I know it's all about money, but building with concrete instead of wood would help. Brick walls are not constructive, they will collapse easily. That's not a big problem though, it's only the facade. The problem is that the wooden construction is exposed then, which blows away easily when it gets hit by debris. If you use concrete for construction, the most important part of the house stays intact. Things like brick walls, roofing and glazing will still be blown away or hit by debris but that's fixed easily.

Posted by Bob April 29, 11 04:58 AM

That's just terrible. I feel really bad for those people. Perhaps it's time to upgrade the housing codes to better withstand such forces. No, they're not going to look like regular homes, but at least they'd have a home when it was all over. We don't think long term in this country for some reason.

Posted by BlogShag April 29, 11 05:04 AM

That's just terrible. I feel really bad for those people. Perhaps it's time to upgrade the housing codes to better withstand such forces. No, they're not going to look like regular homes, but at least they'd have a home when it was all over. We don't think long term in this country for some reason.

Posted by BlogShag April 29, 11 05:04 AM

My heart goes out to the victims of the tornado and to all those who are affected by it either directly or indirectly. May the soul of those who gave their lives rest in peace. This is really painful and heartbreaking. This the act of the nature. Let's pray for our dead and stay strong than never before.

Posted by Abakar April 29, 11 05:28 AM

I have many friends in the southern states and I know what kind of buildings there are. Sorry, but there is no way to compare brick buildings to the way (constructional strength) most houses are build here in Germany. Even commercial buildings in the US, they mostly have very weak flat roofs! In a tornado, the bernoulli effect causes a low pressure zone over the roof and then lifts it up. As soon as the roof is gone, there are only some scarce sidewalls left (large commercial buildings) which are then easily pushed over. Also, a mono-layer brick wall for instance can't take a lot of shear force and I wouldn't consider that true solid construction.
The advantage the US-type of house has is that it's A LOT cheaper but that is not the point.

Anyways, the events are tragic and the power of an F5 (yes I know what that stands for) surely is immense still, if I lived in the US you can bet I'd have a house that would protect the people inside from this. I know not everybody can afford something like that but I also know that americans don't really seem to care about "quality" construction in the way that most europeans do, which is quite tragic. You have the insane storms and we have the buildings that would provide far better shelter! One would guess you'd start to construct stronger buildings yourself, at least a concrete/steel enforced shell. The roof will always/most likely be heavily damaged in a direct hit anyways.

Posted by Andy April 29, 11 05:40 AM

When americans will stop building huoses from paper?? Huoses built from bricks would stand tornado's. Now thousonds of deaths every year..

Posted by Vykintas April 29, 11 05:42 AM

Why is it when something good happens we get the credit but when a tragedy occurs it's God's fault? God is exactly where He's ways been in every situation, right there with those that are hurting. Hurting right beside them. My prayers are with those that are hurting. Let's not just throw our fists in the air and blame God though. This wasnt because of His "anger." He loves and cares for all those affected! Dont forget that!

Posted by Mike April 29, 11 05:44 AM


Posted by CÉLIO MARTINS April 29, 11 05:57 AM

Мне очень страшно за вас...а вдруг это повторится... С любовью из России

Posted by Galina April 29, 11 06:03 AM

sad ;ces image mont très touchés mais tu courage à tous ceux qui sont dans ces 5 états nous sommes de cœur avec eux

Posted by bara April 29, 11 07:17 AM

I'm so sorry for all these victims and the devastation....but when will you americans learn to build your houses out of concrete and stones instead of wood?!?

Posted by Bob April 29, 11 08:06 AM

This sort of massive storm will be commonplace if we keep pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. It would take terrorists 100 years to match this single storm, and it's not even storm season yet. Tax gas, oil, and coal.

Posted by elmer April 29, 11 08:12 AM

The forcing wind came without warning,
On the horizon death was dawning.
Twisting clouds, distort and sickened,
Rapidly spinning; the pace is quickened.
Shaking, Shuttering, piercing screams,
Destruction with no mercy of any means.
The twisters are out to play tonight,
And sure enough; Your in their sight...

I pray for all the victims of this desolation tis a sad time and everyone needs to pull together so we can all over come this terrible time:(
(and for #20 i hope and pray that if that was somebody that they did not suffer)

Posted by Gabie:( April 29, 11 08:29 AM

These pictures are just unreal to me! I Thank God my family and I were in a safe area of NC for this storm and the past one on the 16th but my heart, prayers and tears go out to all those who it life or everything they owned.

One thing alot of people commented on was the way homes were built...honestly with the lack of jobs, lack of money, and everything costing so can we turn down any place to live. True this storm ripped through EVERYTHING in it's path no matter how it's built. I am sure some of these people were renting or all they could afford was a single wide trailer. If people would like to donate the money to each and every person who lost their home for them to build something better and stronger...I am sure they would be more then happy to do just that! And I don't mean this comment in a rude way...just trying to explain to people who might not understand how things are over here in the US. We just don't all have the means too...imagine those effected by this storm who couldn't afford insurance???

I thank the people who took the time to take these pictures and post them but most importantly...I thank each and every person who is out there day and night giving of themselves to help these people.


Posted by Ellen April 29, 11 09:15 AM

To those from overseas who wonder why we have wooden homes - thanks for your wishes and prayers!! We have a lot of wood and it's cheaper than masonry. And, we're not all rich either, despite our image overseas. Many European countries have a higher standard of living than us and the US is a giant country with lots of different demographics. A tornado can rip up masonry, cement and steel - and flying bricks are no fun either. Basically it destroys everything.

Posted by moi April 29, 11 09:16 AM

#20 is probably transmission fluid... I hope.

Regardless of that, I had no idea that the damage was this bad until these pictures! This is horrendous

Posted by Ken April 29, 11 09:19 AM

Horrible. My heart goes out to these people. Just one thought: Why do people in the United States refused to build houses out of concrete? In areas where there are tornados, concrete will stand still, as can be seen in picture # 9. In my country most houses are made of concrete. I just don't understand why building with wood when concrete is chep and durable. Just a thought.

Posted by Maria April 29, 11 09:23 AM

There has been a bit of discussion about wood-frame construction of houses in these areas. I don't fully understand why houses are build as they are, but wood-frame construction is very common in tornado areas, even for nice houses.

I have lived in western Iowa, central east-coast Florida, and suburban Houston.

In Iowa, you can get these kind of powerful tornadoes, but almost all the houses are wood-frame construction with basements made of cement block.

Where I lived in Florida, you can get hit by powerful hurricanes, but only weak tornadoes. Almost all the houses are cement block construction with no basements.

Where live in the Houston area, you can get hit by powerful hurricanes, but only weak tornadoes. Almost all of the houses are wood-frame constructions with no basements.

Posted by LibertyMark April 29, 11 09:50 AM

My prayers for all those who are affected by this tragedy.

Posted by Amit B April 29, 11 10:04 AM

#20 would not be BLOOD, but Transmission Fluid.

Posted by Lee April 29, 11 10:16 AM

I´m sorry, poor people, no mean to offend but, looking at pic #9 I wonder if the government couldn't oblige arquitects to build houses based in concrete foundings and walls instead of wood? We allways see this images and they repeat season after season, shouldn´t there be a stronger building methos than this houses that simply turn into giant wood chips spread all around?
We have the technology look at 9!

Posted by Alejandro Wirth April 29, 11 10:23 AM

Dear God!!..........The devastation is hard to believe. I can't imagine having your home and everything you have in this life ripped away like that. Those poor awful! My heart is breaking for them...........

Posted by utah April 29, 11 10:32 AM

This is very touching , it show the pain and suffering everyone went thru that tragic.

Posted by Delanna S. April 29, 11 10:40 AM


Posted by JAY KHARVA April 29, 11 10:47 AM

to phil jackson,

No we haven't oinvented bricks and mortar yet. That's why so many pictures show brick foundations.

A tornado will blow away anything.

Posted by me April 29, 11 10:49 AM

Like my country Haiti destroyed by a heathquake, cities in America destroyed by a tornado, may God protect this country against those desasters. Much prayers and love for the american people.

Posted by Eddy prophete April 29, 11 10:53 AM

My Prayer Go Out To All The People "/

Posted by Jasmine April 29, 11 10:57 AM

As a resident of the areas impacted in AL, there are plenty of full-brick and concrete houses that were wiped clean off their foundations by these tornadoes. There aren't many types of construction that can withstand a direct hit from an EF4 or 5 tornado.

For the others offering condolences...thank you and God Bless.

Posted by Brandon April 29, 11 10:59 AM

God bless all the families that were affected by the tornado's my prayers are with you... and I would love to see the faces of the people that don't believe in GOD when you stand before HIM your words will be "Oh My GOD!" but then it wil be to late. "Every knee will bow and every toungue confess that HE is LORD!"

Posted by Nancy April 29, 11 11:23 AM

I have cried, My Heart is with you alll in AL. I have family their too, My prayers will be with you!

Posted by Southern Love April 29, 11 11:29 AM

I have cried, My Heart is with you alll in AL. I have family their too, My prayers will be with you!

Posted by Southern Love April 29, 11 11:32 AM


Posted by PENNY WEATHERS April 29, 11 11:49 AM

My hometown of Wilson, NC.had extensive damage from the tornadoes that swept through our area on Apr. 16th; but not nearly as widespread as this system. Our hearts and prayers go out to those who have lost homes and especially lost loved ones.
My prayers also go out for those who so readily dismiss the love and care of God when these things things happen. Those who never thank God for the blessings of life are the first to blame God when tragedy strikes.

Posted by Ronnie Heath April 29, 11 12:21 PM

The unbelievable forces of nature, is right. When we lived in Maine we had an ice storm that left the trees in many parts of the state looking like those in picture #11. These tornados are a hundred times worse, of course, because they involve people and property, and cause deaths.

Posted by Davarr April 29, 11 01:31 PM

For those who are reading from other countries.....there have been comments about the structural integrity of the homes. In some areas, such as the south, it is more economical for people to buy trailer homes. In the picture with the stairs, that is what it is. Most homes in the US are built well, with the proper concrete footings/slabs. But I suppose it really does not matter, because a tornado will rip everything up in it's way.

To the people of the states who were affected, as well as people who know of people who may be affected, my heart goes out to you all. May God walk with you, and hold your hand through this trying time.

Posted by Machelle April 29, 11 01:34 PM

Those homes had foundations. An F5 tornado will do will rip up concrete foundations and driveways and leave only the dirt. I'm familiar with each neighborhood that was destroyed. Some are poor neighborhoods and some are full of very nice homes. Now they all look the same.

Posted by Bama Born and Raised April 29, 11 01:35 PM

God bless America.

Posted by jaasons April 29, 11 01:46 PM

It's terrible...

Posted by michael April 29, 11 01:48 PM

moi je suis du liban .je demande que dieu est avec vous je mappelle ali mon coeur est avec vous

Posted by ali April 29, 11 01:50 PM

@#113-- Jason, you're a good man. Then again, I've never met anyone from Down Under that I didn't like.

Posted by Sam April 29, 11 01:53 PM

dieu est avec vous je suis libanais je pries pour vous .je m appelle ali

Posted by ali April 29, 11 01:53 PM

There's no god above us. Just storm clouds.

Posted by Carl Foster April 29, 11 01:55 PM

For those of you who continue to question why these homes were built of wood rather than stone the answer is simple: MONEY (or the lack there of). This is a terrible tragedy, my heart goes out to all of the victims, and a thank you goes to all who are there to help.

Posted by KentuckyLove April 29, 11 02:45 PM

How terribly saddening these images are. What I fear is more disconcerting is that of the 113 comments posted so far, only 2 have addressed climate change as a likely cause and a significantly greater number make reference to god or prayer.

It is all well and good to pray to god to find peace and serenity in times of unsettling hardship. To have faith alone in god that we will be spared from the many more challenges we face as a result of climate change is not enough. We must have faith in ourselves and faith in one another. Climate change is not a myth made up by hippie environmentalists. It is a very real problem that will continue to devastate the lives of future generations in similar if not worse ways than these tornadoes have done.

So if you are going to ask god for salvation from these nightmares, then remember it is not enough to only ask, you must do. You must provide god the understanding that you are actually aware of your situation and taking steps to better it.

Posted by Scott April 29, 11 03:01 PM

Wow crazy

Posted by etienne April 29, 11 03:02 PM

Picture #20 ... that's not blood, thank God. It's motor oil.

My heartfelt prayers to everyone dealing with this.

Posted by Jerry in Chicago April 29, 11 03:21 PM

1 and 17 are bad :( i hope that get well soon.

Posted by Anonymous April 29, 11 03:50 PM

My heart breaks when I saw the face of that poor lady in pic #13.

Posted by Jayson April 29, 11 04:54 PM

I'm a Alabama resident and I held my kids and prayed while these storms went over our house. To answer some of the questions about brick houses and mortar. Yes we have this, a F5 tornado will completely destroy brick and anything else in its path. There are many who died in basements. Please choose your words wisely for you speak about something you honestly know nothing about! I live in a brick house and my kids have said "daddy make it stop"!!!!!! People got sucked out of brick homes while they were in basements!

Posted by mike April 29, 11 05:11 PM

Condolences from the U.K

Posted by Mel April 29, 11 05:15 PM

From Limestone Co., Alabama...very expensive brick homes were destroyed in our tornado, while mobile homes were spared. Mother Nature does not care how much your house cost or how well built. There are steel beams bent over by the wind along highways here. The trees in my yard were plucked out by their roots like toothpicks. If you are in the path of a tornado, a storm shelter is what will save your life.

Posted by Cindy April 29, 11 05:55 PM

To the people of Alabama and Mississippi, hardworking folks, full of humor, who taught me to work with my hands, and, most of all, to stand up when I fall or suffer (during hurricane season), I remember you in my heart and pray for you. I'm now in Oklahoma and still in tornado alley but will help through my church. This tornado is not from God but from the devil who comes only to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus was compassionate enough to live among the worst and help those in need. Well, if you don't believe just shut up and move to help while you're here on earth. Anyway, all of us will find out later whether we're for Him or not - on the other side. It's kind of Him to give us the choice.

To those wondering why American houses are made of wood, it's economical, easy to build, modify, permits installing insulation inbetween the framework/studs and according to building codes here. True you can build a concrete house but it will cost you a fortune and thick walls about 8"(200mm) with insulation for winter months. To withstand tornadoes you need a concrete roof as well-a bombshelter. No wants to live in that. The key is having a small shelter and sheltering from tornadoes. That's just life here. Any place on earth has some form of nature going against man.

The best defense is a saferoom/tornado shelter above ground with steel plates inbetween the walls and ceiling, or a fully concrete room or a basement. Mine in Oklahoma is a steel box installed underground in my garage. FEMA has details of how to make these tornado shelters. It's worth having one and companies who do these can have it installed in a garage of a standing house.

Posted by Ex-Mississipian April 29, 11 06:51 PM

may the Lord be with all of the people that went thrugh this experience. we had the same hapened here in NC. but we did not lost as many lifes. my GOD is power and he is the one that give and take away. and i think the LORD OF HEAVEN is sending a massege to the world so people can repent from sin. and be part of the Glory of God. because He is real... about the pict. of the car upside down i think and hope that its transmission fluid coming out of the transmission... may the GOD BE WITH YOU IN ALL OF YOUR NEEDS.

Posted by JC. April 29, 11 06:56 PM

My prayers go out to the victims and their families in this during this tragedy. We've had alot of damage in NC on April 16th but nothing like this.
Praying for ya'll (Selma, NC)

Posted by marie price April 29, 11 06:57 PM

Jesus Christ! That is unreal! The devastation in these pictures is just out of mind? The panic must have been terrible? God Bless anyone affected by this freak event?

Posted by Raymond Clifford April 29, 11 09:00 PM

Re: Pic #20 the red liquid coming from under the front of the overturned car is probably automatic transmission fluid, and not blood as some have speculated. In the USA most cars have automatics.

Posted by windless April 29, 11 09:26 PM

I'm a graduating senior at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa -- though, all final exams and graduation proceedings have of course been cancelled at this point. Never thought college would end like this... I've just made it home from campus today, so I was there when the thing swept through town. It was barely a mile away from my dorm building -- pictures 5, 7, 14, 16, and 20 are literally a one-minute car ride from where we were -- and Jesus, we could hear it and see it so clearly. It's been absolute hell up there, but the rescue and support efforts going on are beyond amazing. Keep the area in your thoughts, yeah? They need it.

Posted by Nikki D. April 29, 11 11:59 PM

Human suffering is not pleasant to watch in most cases. Those who wish to postulate about where God is in all of this should read the book of Nahum 1:3 in the Bible. It is not that God can't do anything. The fact is that God has done something and it was laughed at and rejected. God sent His only begotten Son (Jesus) to suffer a cruel death on the cross to pay for the sin of all who would trust Him as savior. Those who laugh at God and reject His payment for sin will have to pay their own penalty for sin and it will last for eternity, unlike these tornado's which are temporary. No, it is not enjoyable to watch these pictures, but sometimes God has to remind us that we are here to serve His purposes and not the other way around.

Posted by Jay April 30, 11 12:29 AM

This storm destroyed concrete buildings as well as "stick built" homes. Please don't make such cruel and heartless comments. They're hardly helpful, thoroughly arrogant, and astoundingly hurtful in these first few days after the destruction of these communities.

Posted by loonytick April 30, 11 01:39 AM

Jesus is with us, He is omnipresent and loves us. There have been people that have been paralyzed and healed and of major illnesses that I've seen first hand. I will pray for many more miracles for those in need in this ordeal and everyone else please pray for miracles from Jesus our protector, healer and Saviour, Amen. Plz pray that these people receive new homes, food, clothes, jobs, and are able to rebuild their businesses, I pray these things in Jesus' Holy Loving Name! I pray in Jesus' name that those who have had loss will be blessed more abundantly than even before, Amen! Thank you so much for these things Jesus God! Amen! If I can get out there to help do I just drive there without dpeaking to anyone or who should I contact?...the Red Cross? Thank you!

Posted by Monica April 30, 11 03:25 AM

Jesus is with us, He is omnipresent and loves us. There have been people that have been paralyzed and healed and of major illnesses that I've seen first hand. I will pray for many more miracles for those in need in this ordeal and everyone else please pray for miracles from Jesus our protector, healer and Saviour, Amen. Plz pray that these people receive new homes, food, clothes, jobs, and are able to rebuild their businesses, I pray these things in Jesus' Holy Loving Name! I pray in Jesus' name that those who have had loss will be blessed more abundantly than even before, Amen! Thank you so much for these things Jesus God! Amen! If I can get out there to help do I just drive there without dpeaking to anyone or who should I contact?...the Red Cross? Thank you!

Posted by Monica April 30, 11 03:26 AM

It is not what comes into our lives that makes or breaks us, but rather how we handle what comes into our lives.
1 John 5:4 NLT
For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.

Posted by Monica White April 30, 11 03:48 AM

Count your blessings. They can be taken in one horrible moment.

Posted by Al Whitaker April 30, 11 04:21 AM

Tornado Zone, Wooden Homes.

Go Figure.

Posted by Fede April 30, 11 05:29 AM

At least they still have each other

Posted by Rizky April 30, 11 06:36 AM

What a waste of time.. theres still more news on the royal wedding! [proceeds to change the channel] Awesome weather over here too, might go to the park again get some tan in me. So nice to be from London, wouldnt want to be punished by God for being american.

Posted by AndiGee April 30, 11 07:36 AM

Heartless, pig-ignorant Europeans...All the sanctimonious blather about brick versus wood.

Don't you see pictures like #20? Plenty of homes use brick in the US but they are no match for a tornado. A roof can be bolted to the walls and an EF3, EF4, EF5 will lift it right off, thereby making the house susceptible to implosion. I remember watching a report on BBC news about a tornado in the UK a few years ago (a very very rare thing over there) and it ripped across a series of solidly build brick homes. Nothing is any match for winds this strong, and 75% of the world's tornadoes take place in this land mass called North America. Yet most people in the US will never experience a tornado in his/her lifetimes. Should the others sacrifice the ability to build to the size they want with the flexibility to alter the home (far easier to make changes to a wood structure than brick) just because of the infinitesimal possibility of a tornado?

In California, brick and stone are the worst construction materials because they collapse instantly under tremors--wood is excellent because it can absorb the shock. Should we wag our fingers at the Euros the next time they get a major train derailment (which seems to happen quite frequently in places like Germany) for being far too dependent on mass transit?

Why do we continue to bail out these repulsive "friends" across the pond with our military, when the comments we get are things like this?

Posted by Laura B. April 30, 11 07:48 AM

Hi, As an Aussie I experienced cyclone Yassi in Queensland recently and I saw the devestation there but Having seen what has happened in your country on such a large scale is quite unbelievable..

Posted by Garry Jennings April 30, 11 08:27 AM

To people who ask us why we don't have concrete houses - a concrete house? Many people overseas live in concrete apartment buildings and those are reinforced with other materials. But these are rural and suburban areas. How many small houses do you know that are made of reinforced concrete? Get real already.

Posted by brianna April 30, 11 10:36 AM

My parent's home was a brick home with a full basement and the tornado destroyed all but the basement and even the basement was damaged. They survived thank God but their lifetime of memories are pretty much gone. All of their neighbors had brick homes and they were destroyed as well.
I thank all of you that are offering thoughts and prayers and to those of you who are asking about our construction of homes just remember than an EF5 tornado is so powerful that most nothing will be standing after it is done brick, concrete, or wood. I just cannot believe some of these critical and judgmental comments on construction at a time when so many people are suffering and have lost everything including some lives. Shame on you!

Posted by D S April 30, 11 10:47 AM

These tornadoes hit very populated areas in the Tuscaloosa (including the University of Alabama) and Birmingham. Not everyone lives in mobile homes down here. Thousands of homes were destroyed, and not even fortified brick homes stood a chance. The total destruction of small communities is completely horrifying.

Posted by Donna April 30, 11 11:00 AM

Can everyone stop commenting on wood vs. concrete for houses? Houses are built from all materials in the US. As was stated earlier, in some parts of the country, houses have to be built with wood because of earthquakes. I'm from an earthquake zone, and all of the houses there are built out of wood. The US is a huge country, and different areas in the US are affected by different natural hazards, so you can't blanket the entire country under one umbrella. Are we going to blame all of those who died or lost family, loved ones, and/or homes from the tsunami in Japan for living near the coast? Come on, everyone. Get real. All of these comments are disgusting and beyond the point.

How about some condolences to the people who have been affected by this tragedy? How about donating some money, or at least writing a nice condolence to those affected? Disasters are not the time for self-righteous, condescending, politically-tinged messages - especially from people who probably really know less about America than they think. And this is coming from an American who has lived abroad many times.

My condolences go out to everyone affected by the tragedy.

Posted by Anonymous April 30, 11 11:14 AM

To all the morons posting about destruction of inferior construction in the USA:
F4 207–260 333–418 1.1% 400–900 Severe damage.
"Well-constructed houses leveled"; structures with weak foundations blown away some distance; trains overturned; cars thrown and large missiles generated. Skyscrapers and highrises toppled and destroyed.

F5 261–318 419–512 "Strong frame houses lifted off foundations and carried considerable distances to disintegrate"; automobile sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100 m (109 yd); trees debarked; steel reinforced concrete structures badly damaged.
You people haven't got a clue on what you are talking about! You are looking at pictures overseas and put in your uninformed comments on a site to build your ego. These people don't need your crap! I am a German living in Alabama and all these folks need are prayers and help- not your BS! With all my heartfelt prayers to those with loses!

Posted by Tim April 30, 11 11:52 AM

#181 Thank you for the prayers. I believe God hears and answers prayers. He sent us people when I got stuck in Mississippi during Katrina. People are His hands, feet and mouth. The Red Cross is not the first to help as some would think though they came later. It's the National Guard, troops and volunteer church organizations who are more mobile and quick enough to help. Try locating a church in your neighborhood which is bent at doing something to help those affected in this region. They are accountable to God for what they do and they do it with a lot of love, compassion and sacrifice.

I'm amazed at those who don't believe God. They blame God for all these due to their ignorance and unbelief. It was the churches who were open to help despite pastors and members having lost their homes too. You won't know it until you have experienced it. It's like a war zone without electricity, food, cellphones, water, and even government service plus rain, heat, flies, debris, garbage, stench of death and rot. And yet these people of God were there to help against these odds. Unbeknownst to most the reach out to help in New Orleans continues to this day!

Posted by ExMississippian April 30, 11 11:57 AM

Oh for pete's sake......nothing is safe from destruction....NOTHING OR NO ONE....for the comments from those who say there is NO are plain ignorant...and I will pray for you....those who say concrete holds up better, tall buildings are earthquake proof....blah blah, the Titantic was unsinkable too....get real people....we have natural disasters....we never know where, what or whom is going to be affected...we are going to have man made disasters as well...we never know whom, where or what is going to be affected. Try, just try, for those of you whom have never had the opportunity to survive cancer, walking away from a car accident without an injury, getting out of a pool without brain injury from hitting your head on the bottom, well you know where I am going with this....I would THINK you are smart enough to figure out NO ONE IS SAFE FROM DISASTERS, ACCIDENTS, MAN MADE OR NATURAL.. You should really be ashamed of yourselves for even questioning the "structure" of the buildings...and think about the lives that have been lost, feeling empathy for those who lost loved ones, and think about what you hold most dear in your lives and how you would feel should something happen to your loved ones, or to you..I choose to believe in God, I choose to know that life goes on in spite of disasters, no matter how HARD it is....I have survived cancer, I have walked away from car accidents with scratches and bruises when I wondered how in the world did we escape this alive when the roof of the car was sitting on top of the seat of the for those of you who only think how "stupid" and "careless" we are about our structures...or who question who "God" is, find something good to do for the ones who have been affected by this.....I will pray, and I know they will recover...their lives will never be the same, but they will adjust and survive, and be stronger for it......God bless America, and my prayers and good thoughts are being sent to the people affected by this disaster....and for those of you whom have no one to believe in when you have your own personal "disaster"...

Posted by Jan April 30, 11 02:22 PM

Lord, the signs of your coming are manifested daily. But I just want to ask you in my short pray to save your people. please Lord; give them the opportunity to know you before living their mortal temple.

I believe in your might to save the world from every calamity. There is no greater disaster than dying without knowing you , JESUS.

Posted by Victorien BODJRENOU April 30, 11 03:33 PM

In the name of God, please, I beg you my brothers and sisters, to donate any money you can spare to Food Banks and emergency agencies to send relief to these victims in the south, east, and central USA. Seeing those elder citizens and children in so much dispair is heartbreaking. How about sports, entertainment, technology moguls, etc. stepping in and delivering $$$ to help our own for a change.

Posted by Lisa April 30, 11 05:15 PM

I am a tornado survivor from last years' outbreak in NW Ohio. My heart goes out to you all, and may the souls who perished in these horrific storms rest in peace. I don't know why God works the way he does, but in due time, you will find peace, I promise. It's taken me a year to find my own peace, even though it is still difficult to hear tornado sirens go off here. You will find your way. I live by the words, "If you don't laugh, you'll cry." It sounds hard to laugh, trust me -- but tell your fellow survivors a quick joke, comfort them and tell them a funny story, do anything... it will lift your spirits and help you overcome this. Trust me. Find a reason to smile in the wake of horror; it comforts the soul much more than crying. Bless you all.

Posted by Chelsea April 30, 11 05:22 PM

very sad....but i still don't get why Americans don't build cement houses...

Posted by electro April 30, 11 05:24 PM

What may be saddest of all is that there were *many* warnings early in the day and *throughout* the day ... yet too many people chose to not listen. We are responsible for getting informed, staying informed and then doing what we need to do to get as safe as possible. Didn't anyone learn anything after we saw so many oblivious shoppers in NC a few weeks ago, *shopping* as a tornado bore down on them instead of caring enough about themselves to pay attention to the many weather warnings that day too? Is that the problem, that people don't love themselves enough to get to safety before it's too late?

Posted by James007 April 30, 11 05:25 PM

To God be the glory for all his many blessings. People are bound to say anything when they don't know who God is. The tragedy that took place helps us to see how helpless we are without the Lord. We live in a fallen state and are subject to many pitfalls of life. There is nothing man can do that can prevent destruction from a tornado. We can only have faith in God and trust him. May God bless those who were affected by this and God is able to restore. Things you can get again but lives you can't. May you all be strenghten as you continue with your lives. Our prayers from Arkansas are with you all. To those who ask, where was God? He was where he has always been, right there for he is everywhere. Man in his limited thinking will only praise him when everything is going good and curse him when things go bad. May God have mercy on your souls.

Posted by Jennifer April 30, 11 09:14 PM

What you ppl are also failing to understand is these ppl had no warning sirens go off. The 911 dispatch station was hit miles before this came into Tuscaloosa and they weren't able to sound the sirens. I just feel so bad and sorry for all these ppl BUT, as bad as it sounds, it could of been worse. There could of been no survivors. Look at the one that hit Indiana back in 1925, over 700 ppl died in the one. There is a reason for everything that happens, though you wonder in the time of need. God bless all those in need and all whom support them over there in Alabama.

Posted by Diana April 30, 11 09:25 PM

First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with every family that had to go through this.

In reading through the comments... Wow. Lots of opinions. Everyone is entitled to their own I guess but is it really necessary to bash people for their beliefs or bash them for where they live? Even worse, to say that those beliefs and where they happen to live CAUSED it? Please, either help or get out of the way.

For those who have decided to post hateful comments about Americans....
1. Not everyone is rich
2. We don't build houses from paper and sticks, but when you see the devastation in the pictures, I'm sure it does look like that to someone who has not been through this.
3. Just like anywhere, we may have some heroes and we may have some zeros. Would you like a rude blanket-statement placed on your country when something devastating happens? how do you think statements like that make your country look? I for one, place that back on you because I know that you most certainly do not speak for everyone in your country. You are the bad apple, not your country.
4. America does a lot to help other countries during major tragedies and that includes average, everyday, hard-working people. People who donate their time, hard-earned money, or whatever they can, just out of true compassion, without caring about which country it is. Those who truly believe that we are all just people who are all capable of feeling pain, sadness, and hopelessness.
5. There are some pretty brave comments out there... come over here and build your "strong house" that you say Americans can't figure out. We shall see what an F5 feels about your house. If you survive the destruction of your house, then you might just find yourself in need of some help and compassion. I hope that you do not have to go through something like this. I would actually love for you to reach deep within yourself and find some sort of happiness so you can get rid of the hate that is spewing out of you right now.

I'll just call out #186 right now..
"186 What a waste of time.. theres still more news on the royal wedding! [proceeds to change the channel] Awesome weather over here too, might go to the park again get some tan in me. So nice to be from London, wouldnt want to be punished by God for being american.
Posted by AndiGee April 30, 2011 07:36 AM"

REALLY?? I don't even know how you can sleep at night. Seriously, go get your tan on and keep your comments to yourself. Is that what you tell yourself so you don't have to actually FEEL anything? If you really think that way, then may God have mercy upon YOUR soul. Did you say the same thing about Haiti? How about Thailand or Japan? Were they being punished by God as well?

By the way, I'm proud to be an American. I will not say our country is perfect. I don't think anyone here would say that but I don't know of any country that is perfect. What I can say, is that I'm blessed to have my life, my health, my family, and I'm thankful for each and every day.

"Without suffering there would be no compassion."
- Kudos to those who know where that quote came from. :)

Posted by Rhonda May 1, 11 12:35 AM

I am sick of all of your "Three Little Pigs'"comments . This state, Alabama, is suffering with loss of life and everything one has lived and worked for their whole life. Your criticisms are harmful and demeaning. Go find another page where your crap is appreciated, but not here.

Posted by m williams May 1, 11 01:04 AM

i guess these idiots talking trash about building houses of paper and wood don't have tornadoes. what fools. so i guess japan should have just built larger walls up to keep the ocean out? absurd! you can't prevent mother nature or what she can do! since they have the internet, maybe they should look up video of what a tornado can do to stone and brick. ha ha! morons!

Posted by buckeye May 1, 11 02:04 AM

ok this is sad ;( but,
when Americans finally learn how to build brick houses?

Posted by andrej May 1, 11 03:23 AM

As a resident of Alabama and an area that was badly hit by one of these tornadoes. I am deeply saddened and offended by the comments left on this page. I will be happy to send you some pictures or drive you through and show you what the tornadoes did to some million dollar homes that were made out of brick and concrete. For your information they aren't standing anymore.

Posted by Ginger May 1, 11 03:43 AM

I can't imagine the power of the wind which did that !!! It's unbelievable!
......but true.
I'm thinking to all those broken families, and despite I dont believe in God, I send them all my love and my thinking from France.

Posted by Mimi May 1, 11 05:37 AM

Si j'avais les moyens, j'allais me rendre aux Etats unies pour aider cette population qui a pratiquement tout perdu à netoyer et reconstruir leur consession. Je demande à tout ceux qui vivent aux Etats Unies d'aller aider cette partie de la population.

Posted by OUEDRAOGO Yacouba May 1, 11 07:32 AM

I'm a native Arkansan, and I know how terrifying these storms are. I'm terribly sorry to see how horrible this storm was to these people, and I'm literately on the verge of tears. I hope those who survived will be able to make a new life for themselves, and I offer my condolences to those who lost loved ones.

I wish the Europeans posting on here would realize that it's hard enough to build a home out of wood, let alone out of cement or brick, and not that it would make much difference in a tornado of that magnitude anyway, and that we also have to consider things like extreme temperature fluctuations that cause cement to crack and break down.

Posted by Joy May 1, 11 03:19 PM

If you cannot offer support do not bother posting, please.

Posted by Anonymous May 1, 11 05:27 PM

I hope the best for all of the people involved in this tragic event. Sorry for everyones losses.

Posted by stephanie May 1, 11 07:42 PM

For all of the people in Europe who have crititiqued the way American homes are built, you have no idea the force of these tornados. EF5 tornados are the worst there is. As one meterologist just said, it does not matter what kind of structure you are in if an EF5 tornado hits your house. You must be below grade (underground) to have any real chance of survival. Even then, there is a real chance of not surviving when the structure implodes and falls on top of you. Until you have experienced anything like this, please keep your uninformed opinions to yourself. God forbid you should ever endure the hell these poeple are going through.

Posted by Amy May 1, 11 09:51 PM

God says in Nahum 1:3 that "The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and the clouds are the dust of His feet." As an extremely vulnerable human being, I have compassion on these people who have been hurt as well. Believe it or not, sometimes God uses tragedies such as these to show His love and compassion to those who are affected by it. How could that be, you might ask? Because God is not willing that any of His own should perish, but that all of them should come to repentance. A disaster such as this has a humbling effect that brings people back to the reality that they must fall down and worship a Holy and Almighty God who cannot be ignored. Someday you will also bow down before God. But it is far better to bow the knee willingly than to bow under the crushing weight of Gods wrath. One way or the other, every knee will bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. That means you too Mimi. Mimi, please turn to God before it is forever too late. This might be the last warning that God ever gives you. And I'm sure that you don't control the weather.

Posted by Jay May 1, 11 11:19 PM

God Bless> speechless I pray for everyone that has been touched !

Posted by Brittney Van Allen May 2, 11 12:06 AM

Perhaps Americans should start investing more in their own infrastructure and their own people, instead of donating so much money to and helping other countries. Maybe then we could afford to build better houses for ourselves. Americans are too generous to a fault, and hated by many.

Posted by A US Citizen May 2, 11 05:12 AM

OMG, That really Wrath of the God. We are nothing under the power of God,
we must always remember to all the sins we have ever done.

Posted by Iwan May 2, 11 07:51 AM

Re comment #115 "Lets start build houses from bricks and concrete. In our country there are no problems with strong wind."

Hmmm... There are LOTS of brick or concrete house in this country that are demolished right along with the wood ones. People often have to build with the materials that are most readily available and affordable. Did it ever occur to you that perhaps in your country you just have not had "strong winds" that reach the level of a Tornado? There are high waves and there are tsunamis. Do you think they are different? Well guess what... a tornado is way more than a "strong wind".

Posted by Jacquie Henry May 2, 11 07:54 AM

It is about 10% more expensive to build from concrete/masonry than wood frame, and in hurricane-prone Florida around 80% of homes are masonry -- because of building codes? Insurance rates? I don't know.

Posted by john May 2, 11 09:33 AM

#121 - concrete buildings are reinforced with steel and highly designed. Hospitals and high-rises are built that way to protect the expensive equipment inside. If they weren't reinforced with steel they'd collapse. Who's going to built a steel-reinforced concrete house?? Who could maintain it on a daily basis? I doubt you'd be able to find a builder who would do such a stupid thing. It's not all about money you moron.

People from overseas - if you have never lived in a tornado zone you don't know what it's like so grow up and stop being so snarky.

Posted by moi May 2, 11 10:06 AM

these pics r veryy sad and i am speechless i hope and pray that these people get help with building their homes ack :(:(:(:(:(:(:(

Posted by Jennifer Mayes May 2, 11 10:41 AM

How can you look at the images and not believe in God? I simply don't understand. My prayers go out to the people of these five states.

Posted by Wedsday May 2, 11 01:11 PM

#219 - Florida has hurricanes, not tornados.

I really think that the people from overseas, who've never been to Alabama and - Re #219 from john - clearly don't know the difference between a hurricane and a tornado, should either say something kind in this situation or nothing at all. I can't believe the criticism coming from people who've never been to the place and yet they think they know everything.

They have terrible floods in Europe, so why don't you all have houses on stilts? Why do you have basements? Why do you have tile roofs that fall apart in a windstorm? Why do you build in floodplains?

The likelihood of a tornado hitting twice in the same spot, even in "tornado alley" is very low. It's a big place - yes get used to the fact that we have a lot more space than you have - and tornados a very contained.

Wood homes are preferable for a large number of reasons besides cost many of which have been described here.

Posted by sad May 2, 11 01:14 PM

God bless you !

Posted by Nancy May 2, 11 11:13 PM

#205 translation -If I could afford, I should come to the United States to help this population which has virtually lost everything and rebuild their consession MAINTENANCE OR CLEANING. I ask all those who live in the United States going to help this segment of the population.

Thank you #205

#159 translation - I am from lebanon. I ask that God is with you My name ali my heart is with you

Thank you #159

Posted by Rhonda May 2, 11 11:37 PM

@ 222 God has nothing to do here, it's was a storm made of wind and rain; why does a tornado would you make you believe in God ?

Anyway to all the victims I'm sending you all my sympathy and compassion (I know it doesn't help you very much at the moment, but that's all I can do)

I'm sure you'll overcome all this and will be back on your feet very soon !!

Posted by Thomas May 3, 11 09:10 AM

I am from Mississippi and these tornados hit 45 minutes on each side of my town. Thank God, it bypassed us. However, it saddens me to think that human beings (American or not) would point fingers in times like these. These people, poor and rich, have lost everything! Yes, some have insurance and some don't, but there are things that insurance can't replace.

We are in a terrible economy right now, and some people are forced to live in trailers, apartments, and houses that may not be the safest.
I don't care what country you are in, we are all humans!! Those that are so busy accusing us of building cheap houses, should put your money where your mouth is and help out those in need. There are hundreds dead, and hundreds still missing. How can you be so critical when people have lost everything they have, including their children, parents, siblings, etc??

I am so glad I am from the USA, where we believe in helping each other. Giving the shirts off our back for our neighbors is the norm in times like these. I can't tell you how many businesses, Churches, and individuals are taking up donations in my town alone, despite the economy.That is what we do - we are Americans!!

Posted by disgusted May 3, 11 10:27 AM

I got really irritated with some of the comments from the Europeans and other countries of the world. We do not need your criticism, maybe if we were paid back some of the BILLIONS we have spent saving your carcasses we could build everyone in the U.S.A. an undergound home and live like animals. Quit criticizing us and just wish us good luck so we can keep the foreign AID coming your way.

Posted by Everett May 3, 11 12:01 PM

@ comment 222 "How can you look at the images and not believe in God? I simply don't understand. My prayers go out to the people of these five states. "

How can you look at the images and believe it was God who did this, it's just science? Why do people believe in God when there is science? I simply don't understand.

My condolences to all those that are effected.

ps. @ > I hope my comment will be post now... Sorry, I hear to much doomsday quotes (like that of comment 114) from a book that I had to respond. Unfortunately you didn't post my other comment so I try it again.

Posted by Tom May 3, 11 02:52 PM

#17 Shows the value of a safe room. That's amazing. What is the price of your family? Think of it.

The price starts at 7k and goes up. You can get financing for it, you can pay in installments. You can forgo the latest flat screen TV and stereo system for a few years. You can use it as a closet when it's not saving your life.

Posted by Maria May 3, 11 03:11 PM

Materials and design should be suited to the environment and the weather. Houses in flood plains, should be built on stilts. They can have basmennts but the bulk of the structure should be protected! Houses in hurricane zones should be built to withstand average surges and winds. Think of the houses on deep pillars with breakaway garages under them.

Houses in earthquake zones should be built to withstand large earthquakes, Japan knows how to do this. Houses should have safe rooms. Houses should be built for the climate, environment, weather and season that they are located in. This is not only safe for the people living in them but also good for their economy and social stability.

Our cookie cutter structures, wood or brick or stucco or whatever, are cost effective only when you don't factor in all costs of what happens months or years after they are built. This includes maintenance, energy consumption, insurance, rebuilding etc etc. Even cheap and low income housing can be suited to the environment but only we take design and materials science seriously.

Things are getting better as codes, materials research, fabrication, and demand gets better but there is still a mentality of "one size fits all."

Posted by Maria May 3, 11 03:23 PM

there has been a lot of chatter here about the cost of building with steel and blocks ....i live in the caribbean and we by no means have the finiancial freedoms afforded many us citizens but we still know that we had better build or homes well or come the end of the hurricane season we will have no where to live.
in addition there are alot of similarities with a hurricane and a tornado ...both are cyclone systems and most tornadoes produce winds similar to those experienced in a hurricane. it cannot be just silly chatter by outsiders. is the expense incurred to build a proper home greater than the cost of protecting loved ones .... think about it. May you all recover soon

Posted by ace May 3, 11 04:03 PM

Astonishing. I am sad for the American friends who lost their lives and for the ones who lost all their belongings. Don't be too angry with Europeans, we just can't understand such nightmares. Tom. Italy. :-((

Posted by Tom May 3, 11 05:01 PM

i am not gonna critizised but my opinion is that houses built from concrete ( particulary reinforced) should withstand tornadoes, not brick concrete or pure brick, just pure cement with minimum reinforcment...but i dont know...

Posted by asddadasd May 3, 11 06:32 PM

Can you people stop bringing god into this. A terrible thing has happened to these people and praying and spewing all this god crap does no good, go out and do something to help.

Posted by Brandon May 3, 11 06:57 PM


Posted by Arnold May 3, 11 11:38 PM

my heart breaks for all the ppl such as my self. we lost so much!!!
i cant do alot but i do have some infant boy clothes, and house whole items. womens clothing size 5 to 9/10 and ect.....
if you need or know of somebody needing these things, please contact me at my email
or cell 256 613 2416

Posted by starr keel May 4, 11 04:39 PM

@232: In all fairness, while hurricanes and tornadoes are both cyclonic wind storms, the concentration of power, size, and speed is so much different. Take a Category 4 or 5 hurricane(Katrina for example) and condense the whole thing into a cyclone that's maybe a mile-wide at best that retains *all* of it's power and is completely unpredictable. THAT is the type of tornado that hit Tuscaloosa and tore all those homes to shreds. It's been stated numerous times that even fortified buildings got demolished because that monster hit them head-on. My brother, who's a student at UA and was on-campus when it hit, pretty much said the same thing after he went out and looked at some of the damage.

Posted by Byron May 4, 11 05:40 PM

To the people saying that there were plenty of warnings and people just ignored them: Sorry, but I live in Dekalb county in north Alabama, and our power went out at 7:30 Wednesday morning. The only info we had was from my sister in Tennessee, who was watching the weather. And none of us could have anticipated the strength of these tornadoes. We have tornadoes every year down here, but no one has EVER seen anything like this. And with no power, people didn't know it was coming until it was on top of them. And as for the construction of the houses, building a concrete home is just not feasible. Even if it were, it wouldn't have saved people in the path of this tornado. Nothing can stand against a tornado of this size and strength. 25 people were killed in the Huddle House in Rainsville, and that building is made from concrete blocks. There are only two inner walls left standing. The people hiding inside were sucked out and flung for hundreds of yards - one person was found in a tree. In cases like this, the only safe place to be is underground - and that's no guarantee. Some people were sucked right out of their basements.

Posted by Deirdre May 4, 11 06:42 PM

We will keep you in our prayers for months to come. We have been in a tornada and you feel so helpless. May God keep you in his hands and help you get your lives back together. Just put your trust in him.

Posted by Al and Mignyon Bouchard May 4, 11 07:32 PM

#141 Alejandro, you couldn't be more right. Concrete is the way to go. Notice the steps are perfectly intact.

Posted by Rob May 5, 11 02:41 AM

I live in Athens, AL. and the neighborhood behind us is obliterated. In the end, you can't depend on possessions - they can be so easily destroyed. Take time to love and care for the people in your lives and get to know and love God. In the end, that is really all that's left!

Posted by Amy Schreiner May 5, 11 03:43 PM

Look what god did man...everyone is "god blessing" everyone else and yet if he is all powerful then he did it! My heart goes out to all those affected by this

Posted by Ben May 5, 11 03:58 PM

Good grief these pictures are unbelievable and makes me feel for all of you.
I do hope you all manage to put your lifes back together and send heartfelt
sympathy for Americans who have lost loved ones. There does seem to be a lot of useless comments on here and I pray that you can all rebuild your lives again.
God does indeed live and he is not responsible for all things bad. He gave us this world and some of us have abused his gift. We need to rethink at what we can do to make things better. I believe the disasters in this world are man made and they are not the wrath of God.
Sympathies from the United Kingdom.

Posted by cazzie May 5, 11 06:02 PM

woodhouse, is woodhouse....

Posted by sasa May 6, 11 08:44 AM

we in europe build only outdoor toilets from wood.......

Posted by sasa May 6, 11 08:46 AM

omg i feel so sorry for all of those people that died and got effected!!!!!!God bless all those people that died!!!!

Posted by yarazet salazar May 6, 11 12:30 PM

I am praying for all of you an may God help you through this to get all of your lives back.
Love to all of you

Posted by Dinah Riggs May 6, 11 06:33 PM

May God bless all the families that were affected by the tornado and be with America and other countries of the world.

Posted by Kola Ajibola May 6, 11 06:43 PM

What does it matter now if the houses were wood, concrete, or feathers for goodness sake. What does it matter if God did it or if God didn't do it at this point? What matters now if that these people are suffering a great loss in their lives and if anyone can help in any way, they should.

Posted by Dorothy May 6, 11 11:55 PM

We are praying for all the people in the places effected with tornadoes and storms. It is very terrible and heart breaking to hear the loss and damage. We are praying for the families who lost their loved ones and belongings. God bless you to set right all the things.
Vinay from India

Posted by S.M.Vinay kumar May 7, 11 01:36 PM

I have lived in Alabama all my life. Natural disasters like we experienced here on that terrible day bring out the best and the worst in human beings. I have been a nurse for 36 years and know that human suffering knows no boundaries. I watched a tornado come over our house and touch down a mile away, killing people, destroying homes, wiping out memories of a lifetime, separating families. I have seen the faces of fellow Alabamians who still don't know where some of their missing family members are or what has happened to them.
I still believe in the basic decency of humanity. In the past few days, I have never been prouder to live in this state. People have dropped everything and gone out to help their neighbors. Drop off points receiving donations for aide have received so much that some places have run out of room. This is the Bible Belt and it shows.
It is hurtful to see some of the critical and unfeeling comments that have been posted. All I can say to them is that they should fall to their knees and thank the Lord that this did not happen to you. Don't criticize what you cannot understand unless you have lived through it. Yes, my home was damaged, repairs will be costly, we lived in a motel for a week and I'm one of the most grateful women alive...I am safe, my children are safe and my home is still standing.
When in the motel we met power crews from Canada, who had driven straight thru, crews from Ohio, Illinois, New York, and all over the country. Anyone who does not believe in the decency and kindness of Americans has not stood were I have stood since the storms.
God Bless American and the people of the South, our prayers are with you, your family, our State and our Country.

Posted by K. Walker May 7, 11 05:57 PM


Posted by EFO P May 7, 11 08:48 PM

If everyone who prays used that time to help or donate money or time instead of praying everyone would be better off. You can pray and repent all you want but the only thing that's going to help is action.

Posted by Nerdista May 8, 11 07:49 PM

I live in Concord, AL, a mere 300 yards from the tornado path, and by the grace of God, still have my home and family. Please know that even though there were warnings all day, one can not predict precisely where a tornado will hit. we didnt know that our town was in the path until 20 minutes before it hit. Even then, the storm could change paths, so even if one tried to evacuate, they are not necessarily safer, especially in a vehicle. These storms aren't like hurricanes, they are fast and random. The material y your home is made from is a non issue.

Posted by Benjamin May 10, 11 02:59 PM

I've been raised in a french oversea territory in Indian ocean. My husband is from France. When he first saw a construction site for a small house on the island, he found it surnatural : all houses are built in reinforced concrete. He found that crazy, useless. The same year he experienced the first F5 cyclone of his life. He didn't sleep for 2 days because he was so frightened by the winds. I was ok. I'm used to that, I wasn't worry. After the cyclone was gone I asked him : "Do you still think that reinforced concrete house are useless?"

Posted by Pascaline May 11, 11 07:30 PM

@256: Except that in an EF5 tornado, they pretty much are useless.

Posted by Byron May 12, 11 02:02 PM
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