Report On Joplin Tornado Released

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 (UPI) — The devastating May 22 tornado that struck Joplin, Mo., offers important lessons for disaster preparedness and ways to reduce death tolls, U.S. officials say.

A final assessment report by the National Weather Service identifies the best practices and makes recommendations to help save more lives during future violent tornadoes — most importantly, that people must be prepared to take immediate action when a warning is issued.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration sent a NWS assessment team to Joplin within days of the disaster, a NOAA release said Tuesday.

“The tornado that struck Joplin offers important lessons about disaster preparedness,” NWS Director Jack Hayes said.

The assessment team looked at warning and forecast services provided to the community, communications, community preparedness and the public’s response to the tornado warnings.

“Tragically, despite advance tornado outlooks, watches and warnings, 159 people died and more than 1,000 were injured. At NOAA we will do all we can — working with our partners throughout the weather enterprise and emergency management — to reduce the impact of similar disasters,” Hayes said.

This Joplin tornado was the single deadliest tornado in U.S. history since modern record-keeping began in 1950, rated EF-5 on the Enhanced Fujita scale and traveling 22 miles on the ground, NOAA said.

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