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Secrets of Giant Cloud Holes Revealed

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An airplane-induced hole punch cloud.

Mysterious holes in clouds made by aircraft may owe their huge sizes to a little bit of heat, a new study suggests.

For decades people have seen gargantuan holes form in high, thin clouds made of supercooled water—liquid droplets that are chilled below the freezing point but that don’t have any particles around which ice crystals can form.

In the absense of dust, these cloud droplets can turn to ice if the water gets cooled beyond -40 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 degrees Celsius). At such chilly temperatures the water molecules slow down enough to freeze spontaneously.

Researchers previously knew that plane wings, propellers, and turbines could chill supercooled water via rapid expansion of air in their wakes—making things cold enough to force the liquid to become ice. This mechanism is thought to be what creates hole-punch clouds.

As the water freezes, though, the change of state releases energy in the form of what’s called latent heat, and the role of this heat was suspect.

“I didn’t think the latent heat would be so important, but it drives the whole feedback cycle, in some cases for hours after a plane flies through,” said study co-author Gregory Thompson, an atmospheric scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

“That’s why the holes can grow to the size of cities under the right conditions.”

Research Flights Affecting Cloud Data?

The researchers theorized that, as latent heat rises, it carries freshly frozen ice—material that would normally float down—back up into the cloud.

There, supercooled water droplets migrate to the ice crystals, feeding a chain reaction of ice formation. Eventually the ice patch becomes too dense and falls out as a flurry of snow.

To see if latent heat does lead to hole-punch clouds, the researchers ran cloud-model simulations with and without the effect.

The first simulation, which incorporated latent heat, showed that the heat suspended ice in the cloud, powered nearby evaporation, pulled surrounding vapor into the zone of crystallization, and created snow. The model ultimately formed holes in clouds that closely matched real images of the phenomenon.

The simulation without the latent-heat effect didn’t replicate what’s been documented in nature.

Thompson emphasized that this finding almost certainly doesn’t change our understanding of the role of aircraft in global climate. Nor do hole-punch clouds cause significant snowfalls around airports, he said: “It’s likely too minor for that.”

However, researchers “spend an awful lot of time flying through clouds to collect data, which we use to build models that mimic natural clouds. We may be altering that data as we measure it,” he said.

“It’s not a big effect, but it’s something to be mindful of in future atmospheric modeling.”

 

Via NatGeo

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Japan nuclear: Radiation halts water clean-up

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Operators of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant have suspended an operation to clean contaminated water hours after it began due to a rapid rise in radiation.

Some 110,000 tonnes of water have built up during efforts to cool reactors hit by the 11 March earthquake and tsunami. The contaminated water, enough to fill 40 Olympic-sized swimming pools, has been at risk of spilling into the sea. The disaster caused meltdown at three of the reactors, and radiation leaks. It is the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986. The powerful earthquake and the tsunami it generated are now known to have killed more than 15,280 people, while nearly 8,500 remain unaccounted for.

Radioactive sludge?

A spokesman for the plant operators, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), said engineers were trying to find the cause of the jump in radiation levels. “The level of radiation at a machine to absorb caesium has risen faster than our initial projections,” the spokesman said.

He added that until they knew what was causing the rising levels they would not know when the operation would be able to resume.

“But I’d say it’s not something that would take weeks,” he added.

Dealing with the radioactive water is a key step to bringing the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant under control, reports the BBC’s Roland Buerk from Tokyo.

It is the rainy season in Japan and the pools of contaminated water could overflow, adding to radiation already released into the sea, adds our correspondent.

Earlier this week, officials had warned the radioactive pools were in danger of spilling into the sea within a week.

The Fukushima power station went into meltdown after its cooling systems were crippled by March’ s devastating earthquake and tsunami.

The teams at the plant suspect the radiation rise may be linked to sludge flowing into the machinery intended to absorb caesium or the pipes surrounding it. The tsunami destroyed both power and back-up generators at the plant, breaking the cooling systems. The three unstable reactors are supposed to be brought to “a stable and cold shutdown” by January 2012. Despite the setbacks Tepco says it is still on track to meet that deadline.

 

Via BBC

Nuclear Plant threatened by Missouri River flood

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  • Nuclear plant inches from being totally flooded
  • Damage would be likely to cause energy prices to soar
  • Six to 12 inches of heavy rainfall over the last few weeks
  • Record floods hit 44.4 feet, topping 44.3 feet record set in 1993
  • Levees fail to stem surge of water from rain and melting snow
  • Flooding expected to continue until August
  • Residents begin burning wood to avoid it becoming flood debris
  • Meanwhile, engineers close the Bonnet Carre Spillway near New Orleans

A nuclear plant was inches away from being engulfed by the bloated Missouri River after several levees in the area failed to hold back its surging waters.

Dramatic pictures show the moment the plant was threatened with being shut down today, as water levels rose ominously to within 18 inches of its walls.

The river has to hit 902 feet above sea level at Brownville before officials will shut down the Cooper Nuclear Plant, which sits at 903 feet.

Engulfed: The nuclear power station in Nebraska came within inches of having to be shut down

Engulfed: The nuclear power station in Nebraska came within inches of having to be shut down.

Flooding is a major concern all along the river because of the massive amounts of water that the Army Corps of Engineers has released from six dams. Any significant rain could worsen the flooding especially if it falls in Nebraska, Iowa or Missouri, which are downstream of the dams.

The river is expected to rise as much as five to seven feet above the official ‘flood stage’ in much of Nebraska and Iowa and as much as 10 feet over in parts of Missouri. The corps predicts the river will remain that high until at least August.

Nebraska Public Power District spokesman Mark Becker said the river rose to 900.56 feet at Brownville on Sunday, then dropped to 900.4 feet later in the day and remained at that level on Monday morning.

The Missouri River set a new record Sunday at Brownville when its depth was measured at 44.4 feet, topping the previous record of 44.3 feet set during the 1993 flooding, according to the National Weather Service.

Stranded: Cars stop hopelessly, stranded by floodwaters over a bridge

Stranded: Cars stop hopelessly, stranded by floodwaters over a bridge.

 

Carnage: Other vehicles were not quite so lucky and were swept away by the floods

Carnage: Other vehicles were not quite so lucky and were swept away by the floods.

Meanwhile, just north of New Orleans, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers workers finally closed the final bays of the Bonnet Carre Spillway today.

The gates were opened weeks ago in an effort to redirect high water on the Mississippi River which threatened levees.

The Cooper Nuclear Plant remains operating at full capacity today but the Columbus-based utility sent an emergency ‘notification of unusual event’ to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission when the river rose to 899 feet early on Sunday morning.

‘We knew the river was going to rise for some time,’ Becker said. ‘It was just a matter of when.’

The nuclear plant has been preparing for the flooding since May 30. More than 5,000 tons of sand has been brought in to construct barricades around it and access roads, according to NPPD.

Should water levels engulf the facility, forcing closure and repairs, energy bills in the area would be likely to rocket to cover the cost.

‘In that case we may have to raise rates,’ a spokeswoman said.

Damage: A worker surveys they scene as he scales a levee attempting to hold back the floodwater

Damage: A worker surveys they scene as he scales a levee attempting to hold back the floodwater.

 

Man versus nature: A levee manages to keep the water from passing

Man versus nature: A levee manages to keep the water from passing.

No passing: Flood waters from the nearby Missouri River cover a county highway

No passing: Flood waters from the nearby Missouri River cover a county highway.

The Army Corps of Engineers said the river level at Brownville had surged about two feet from Saturday morning to Sunday morning and that it continued to rise because of heavy rain on the Nishnabotna River, which flows into the Missouri River from Iowa.

The Cooper Nuclear Station is one of two plants along the Missouri River in eastern Nebraska. The Fort Calhoun Station, operated by the Omaha Public Power District, is about 20 miles north of Omaha. It issued a similar alert to the regulatory commission on June 6.

Deluge: Statues of workers, part of Monument for Labor by Matthew J. Placzek, stand in the rising waters of the Missouri River, in Omaha

Deluge: Statues of workers, part of Monument for Labor by Matthew J. Placzek, stand in the rising waters of the Missouri River, in Omaha.

The river has risen at least 1.5 feet higher than Fort Calhoun’s 1,004-foot elevation above sea level. The plant can handle water up to 1,014 feet, according to OPPD. The water is being held back by a series of protective barriers, including an 8-foot rubber wall outside the reactor building.

Its reactor already had been shut down for refuelling and maintenance since April, and it won’t be turned on again until the flooding subsides.

The entire plant still has full electrical power for safety systems, including those used to cool radioactive waste. It also has at least nine backup power sources.

A spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the NRC thinks OPPD managers have ‘done everything that they need to do to respond to the current conditions’ at the nuclear plant.

Over the weekend, several northern Missouri levees failed to hold back the raging floodwaters, and the hole in a Holt County levee that ruptured last week continued to grow.

The water started pouring over levees on Saturday night and Sunday morning in Holt and Atchison counties, flooding farmland, numerous homes and cabins.

Hope: Engineers close the final bays of the Bonnet Carre Spillway just above New Orleans

Hope: Engineers close the final bays of the Bonnet Carre Spillway just above New Orleans.

 

 The recreational community of Big Lake, which is home to a state park and less than 200 people, is being threatened by the floodwater.

Most of Big Lake’s residents have already evacuated. The area 78 miles north of Kansas City has been high for the past couple weeks, has experienced major flooding in three of the last five years.

Disaster: Flood waters from the Missouri River engulf homes in neighbouring Iowa. More than 250 residents have now been evacuated from Missouri after levees broke

Disaster: Flood waters from the Missouri River engulf homes in neighbouring Iowa. More than 250 residents have now been evacuated from Missouri after levees broke.

Water flooded two highways, several homes were under as much as five feet of water and there was extensive farmland flooding, said Diana Phillips, clerk and flood plain manager for the village of Big Lake.

‘It’s only going to get worse because there is lots of water coming in,’ Phillips said.

In Atchison County, where farmland was flooding, people have been evacuating for days, said Julie Fischer, a dispatcher for emergency services.

Gushing: The powerful waters rush through a ruptured levee near Hamburg, Iowa, last week‘Everybody is pretty much gone,’ Fischer said. ‘The roads are closing, there is no way in or out.’

Authorties have urged around 250 people in northwester Missouri to leave their homes.

Jud Kneuvean, chief of emergency management for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Kansas City District, said the Missouri River dipped by almost 1 foot after the Big Lake breach in Missouri but that the water started to rise again by Sunday afternoon.

He said Big Lake is seeking permission to cut a relief hole in an already-damaged county levee to allow water trapped behind the levee to flow back into the river.

The Corps increased water releases on Saturday from two dams — Oahe above Pierre, South Dakota’s capital, and Big Bend Dam just downstream — to make room for expected potentially heavy rains through early next week.

They have been increasing water releases from five dams in North Dakota and South Dakota to roughly double prior records to relieve reservoirs

Most people left their homes well in advance of the flooding. Those who stayed were told Saturday night that water was flowing into the area.

The Big Lake area, where water has been high for the past couple weeks, has experienced major flooding in three of the last five.

Mike Crecelius, the Fremont County Emergency Management chief, said that in Hamburg, Iowa, the river was expected to crest at 10 feet over flood stage in the coming days.

Crecelius said the river has been over flood stage since late April, and that forecasters are projecting river flows of 150,000 cubic feet (1.1 million gallons) per second through August.

‘[The levees] are not designed for this amount of pressure for this length of time,’ Crecelius told CNN. ‘They’ve never been tested like this.’

Raging: Residents burn wood to avoid it becoming flood debris

Raging: Residents burn wood to avoid it becoming flood debris.

Flames: Residents burn a pile of pallets in near Rock Port, Missouri, to avoid them from becoming debris in flood waters after a levee broke

Flames: Residents burn a pile of pallets in near Rock Port, Missouri, to avoid them from becoming debris in flood waters after a levee broke.

‘There was some talk this morning about more than 150,000 cubic feet per second coming out of Oahe,’ said Jerry Compton, working on Sunday at a convenience store in Missouri Valley.

The threat of flooding is stressful, said Compton, who knows her customers by name and even knows what brand of cigarettes they buy.

‘People either moved out of their homes to another house, or they’re trying to live in a camper. Some people have had their utilities cut off,’ she said. ‘We just sit here and wait.’

Peak releases are planned until at least mid-August and high flows are expected until December.

The National Weather Service said that the six to 12 inches of rainfall in the upper Missouri basin in the past few weeks is nearly a normal year’s worth of raid, while runoff from the mountain snowpack is 140 per cent of average levels.

 

Via DailyMail

Amazing Photos of Chile Volcano Eruption

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The ash cloud from a Chilean volcano reached Buenos Aires, the capital of neighboring Argentina, but was not expected to cause problems for area residents, officials said.

The ash cloud had already caused most airlines flying into Buenos Aires to cancel flights, but if favorable weather conditions persist, it will not pose a risk to people, said Jorge Echarran, head of the emergency council.

Smoke and ash shot more than six miles into the sky when the Puyehue volcano in southern Chile first erupted Saturday afternoon. Authorities evacuated about 3,500 people from the area, the state emergency office said.

 On Tuesday, there was an ash cloud between 5,000 and 7,000 meters (about 16,000 to 23,000 feet) in the atmosphere over the capital, Echarran said, according to the state-run Telam news agency.

The cloud’s consistency was not as strong as when it passed over southern Argentina, and therefore would not bring with it the same problems, he said.

The Patagonia region in southern Argentina was the area most affected by the volcanic ash.

Cities that draw tourists, like Bariloche, Junín de los Andes and others in the area, canceled school and public activities.

Ash piled as high as 30 centimeters (about 1 foot) on highways through Patagonia. Local governments used machinery to clear the roads.

The scene in Buenos Aires was more normal.

“If the weather conditions change it could cause some of the ashes to fall,” Echarran said. “If this happens, we have to work, calmly, on prevention, carrying out our daily activities with caution, such as using masks or being careful with contact lenses to avoid irritation.”

Airlines canceled most flights Tuesday at the Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires, an official there said. Airports in several other cities are also affected, Telam reported.

Chile is located on the Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Enrique Valdivieso, the director of Chile’s National Geology and Mines Service, said that thanks to the coordination of local authorities in Chile, no fatalities have been reported because of the volcano.

Because of monitoring, officials were able to predict the coming eruption and prepare for it, he said.

Flying bacteria to blame for bad weather ?

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High-flying bugs in the atmosphere may largely be to blame for bad weather, scientists believe.

Numerous bacteria have been found concentrated in the centre of hailstones.

The discovery suggests that airborne microbes play a leading role not just in hail storms, but other weather events.

Hailstones vaporise in the sun at Stuttgart Castle in Germany. Scientists have found numerous bacteria in the centre of hailstones, suggesting that airborne microbes play a leading role not just in hail storms, but other weather events

 

Hailstones vaporise in the sun at Stuttgart Castle in Germany. Scientists have found numerous bacteria in the centre of hailstones, suggesting that airborne microbes play a leading role not just in hail storms, but other weather events

All precipitation – rain, hail, snow or sleet – begins with ice crystals forming around cloud particles.

Dust grains and pollution droplets may both serve as ‘nucleating particles’. But the new find has helped confirm suspicions that in many cases living micro-organisms cause the rain to fall.

HOW RAIN FORMS

  • Rain formation is part of the hydrological cycle that describes the continuous movement of water.
  • Rain formation begins with the evaporation of water as vapor after it has been heated by the sun.
  • Rising air currents take the vapor higher into the atmosphere where it merges with vapour that has come from transpiration in plants to form clouds.
  • The particles in the clouds collide and grow in size which eventually leads to them falling from sky as rain.
  • Much of the rain re-enters the sea directly, but some comes from surface runoff, which is water from the land re-entering the oceans or other water sources.
  • From this stage the water is evaporated again and the whole process repeats.

Lead researcher Dr Alexander Michaud, from Montana State University, said: ‘Bacteria have been found within the embryo, the first part of a hailstone to develop. The embryo is a snapshot of what was involved with the event that initiated growth of the hailstone.

‘In order for precipitation to occur, a nucleating particle must be present to allow for aggregation of water molecules.

‘There is growing evidence that these nuclei can be bacteria or other biological particles.’

Dr Michaud’s team analysed hailstones over 5cm in diameter that were collected after a storm in June last year.

The large stones were separated into four layers, each of which was analysed in turn.

Living bacteria that could be grown in the laboratory were present in the highest numbers in the inner cores of the hailstones.

The research was presented today at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in New Orleans.

A bug that infects plants, Pseudomonas syringae, is the most well-studied biological rain-maker.

Co-researcher Dr Brent Christner, from Louisiana State University in the US, said: ‘Ice nucleating strains of P. syringae possess a gene that encodes a protein in their outer membrane that binds water molecules in an ordered arrangement, providing a very efficient nucleating template that enhances ice crystal formation.’

Computer simulations suggest that high concentrations of biological particles may influence precipitation levels at the ground, cloud cover, and even the way the Earth is insulated from solar radiation.


Rain forms when water is evaporated as vapour and merges with other particles to form droplets which then fall as rain

Rain forms when water is evaporated as vapour and merges with other particles to form droplets which then fall as rain.

Via DailyMail

Weather satellites capture shots of volcanic plume blasting through clouds

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Just in case you forgot that the Earth is one of the most geologically active worlds in the solar system, the Icelandic volcano Grimsvötn has sent a very loud reminder: after seven years of relative inactivity, the volcano woke up on Saturday, rocketing a plume 11 kilometers (7 miles) into the air. The ash column blasted through the cloud layer, and was seen by weather satellites in space.

That was the view from the Meteosat-9, a European satellite in geostationary orbit. The animation is composed of visible light images and covers just under a three hour time span on May 21. You can clearly see the plume breaching the cloud layer and spreading out, then a second plume blowing through shortly thereafter. The shadow of the plume on the clouds gives an excellent but eerie sense of the scale of this event.

Here’s a similar view from the US GOES 13 satellite showing 3.5 hours of the eruption:

Note the oblique angle and distance; GOES 13 orbits the Earth far west of the volcano. In the last frame of the animation you can see the outline of Iceland to give you an idea of the size of this event.

This volcano has erupted many times over the past few decades. I knew Iceland was active, but what really brought it home to me in this case was a quote by a company that operates the airport facilities in Iceland, when a 220 km no-fly zone around the volcano was established: it was described as “standard procedure around eruptions”.

Yikes. The fact that they even need a “standard procedure” is eyebrow-raising to me; where I live, volcanoes are somewhat rare (maybe more so now than a millennia ago). However, this eruption doesn’t currently look like it will be a big danger to air travel like last year’s eruption of Eyjafjalajökull was; the ash is made of bigger particles which fall to the ground more quickly, and the volcano itself is located in a relatively isolated part of southeast Iceland.

Still, clearly, researching volcanoes and their eruptions is critical to many areas of life. Besides the knowledge added to our basic scientific understanding of geology and the Earth, monitoring and understanding volcanoes has a huge impact on air traffic, weather, and the daily lives of millions of people.

Image credits: CIMSS, UW-Madison (from images by EUMETSAT and NOAA). Tip o’ the caldera to Jonatan Gislason.

Lightning is common in volcanic plumes, but this one produced quite a bit more than usual. The footage is striking.

Also, NASA released a beautiful image of the plume as seen by the Earth-observing Terra satellite:

Note the scale; the ash column is over 20 km (12 miles) across. I said in the post earlier it reached 11 km in height; however the NASA news release states that it reached over 20 km high!

There is some indication the ash may be a threat to air travel in the UK, too. That’s a bummer; Eyjafjalajökull disrupted air travel for weeks. Let’s hope this one subsides sooner.

Video from Jon Gustafsson on Vimeo; Terra image from Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC


Via DiscoverMagazine

Tornado Strikes Missouri Town, Killing 116

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Devastation: Destroyed homes and debris cover the ground as a second storm moves in on Monday in Joplin, Missouri

The deadliest single tornado to strike the United States in nearly 60 years has reduced the Missouri town of Joplin to rubble, ripping buildings apart and killing at least 116 people.

Disaster struck on Sunday evening when, with little warning, the monster twister tore a strip six miles long and more than a 1/2 mile wide through the center of the town.

Carnage: Rescue vehicles line up along northbound Rangeline Road in Joplin, Mo. after a fatal tornado swept through the city

Rescuers worked through the night to try to find people trapped in their homes, relying on torchlight as they listened for terrified cries from survivors piercing through the blackness.

Night fall: An emergency worker searches the same Walmart storelater the same day

Heavy winds and strong rain forced teams to halt the effort on Monday morning and some rescuers took advantage of the brief respite to catch a bit of much-needed sleep inside one badly damaged bank.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency late Sunday and activated the National Guard to help out after one of the worst disasters in the state’s history.

Search: An emergency vehicle drives through a severely damaged neighbourhood in Joplin

President Barack Obama called Nixon and offered his condolences to those affected, assuring the governor that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would provide whatever assistance was needed.

Condolences: President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Missouri Governor Jay Nixon during his visit to Dublin, Ireland. The President extended his condolences to all impacted by the deadly tornadoes

“The president has directed FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate to travel to Missouri to ensure the state has all the support it needs,” a White House statement said, adding a FEMA team had already been dispatched.

Caring for the injured was made more difficult because the main hospital, Saint John’s Regional Medical Center, had to be evacuated after suffering a direct hit — the tornado ripped off its roof and smashed all its windows.

Media reported that cries could still be heard early Monday from survivors trapped in the wreckage, with the latest tragedy coming less than a month after a horrific tornado outbreak left 354 dead across seven U.S. states.

Authorities estimated that up to 30 percent of Joplin, which lies near the border with Oklahoma and Kansas, had been damaged by the tornado, which experts said carried winds of up to 200 miles per hour.

Eye of the storm: The tornado tore a 6-mile path across southwestern Missouri

It was the deadliest of 46 tornadoes reported to the National Weather Service in seven states on Sunday.

Charts: This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration image released on May 23, 2011 shows the storm system moments before spawning the tornado

“It’s a war zone,” Scott Meeker of the Joplin Globe newspaper said.

“We’ve got hundreds of wounded being treated at Memorial Hall (hospital), but they were quickly overwhelmed and ran out of supplies, so they’ve opened up a local school as a triage center.”

Obama earlier sent his “deepest condolences” to victims and said the federal government stood ready to help Americans as needed.

“Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the families of all those who lost their lives in the tornadoes and severe weather that struck Joplin, Missouri, as well as communities across the Midwest today,” the president said in a statement sent from Air Force One as he flew to Europe.

“We commend the heroic efforts by those who have responded and who are working to help their friends and neighbors at this very difficult time.”

Re-united: A man carries a young girl who was rescued after being trapped with her mother in their home

People in Joplin clawed through the rubble looking for friends, family and neighbors after the storm tore buildings apart and turned cars into crumpled heaps of metal.

Community spirit: Residents of Joplin help a woman who survived in her basement after a tornado tore a path a mile wide and four miles long destroying homes and businesses

Flames and thick black smoke poured out of the wreckage of shattered homes, and water gushed out of broken pipes as shocked survivors surveyed the damage, early photos showed.

Devastation: Emergency personnel walk through a neighbourhood severely damaged by a tornado near the Joplin hospital. There are are no firm details on the number of dead or injured, as the hospital is out of action

A tangled medical helicopter lay in the rubble outside Saint John’s Regional Medical Center.

Emergency: Extensive damage can be seen at the St John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Missouri. An emergency agency spokesman says fatalities had been reported but was unsure of the exact figure

Jeff Law, 23, was able to take shelter in a storm cellar and was overwhelmed by what he saw when he emerged.

“I’ve lived in this neighborhood my entire life, and I didn’t know where I was,” Law told the Springfield News-Leader. “Everything was unrecognizable, completely unrecognizable. It’s like Armageddon.”

Desolation: A residential neighbourhood in Joplin is seen after it was levelled by the tornado

The emergency manager at the neighboring county of Springfield-Greene was told that at least 24 people were killed before he could rush over to help, a spokeswoman said.

Officials said the last twister to wreak such loss of life occurred in 1953 in Worcester, Massachusetts, when a tornado killed 90 people.

On Saturday, a deadly tornado pummeled the east Kansas town of Reading, killing a man and damaging an estimated 80 percent of Reading’s structures, mostly wood-frame buildings.

Meanwhile, a tornado was also responsible for the death of one person in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Sunday, authorities said. At least 30 others in that city and its suburbs were injured.

Path of destruction: No house escaped the wrath of nature in some of Minneapolis

Soul destroying: Jean Logan surveys the damage to her home in Joplin after the tornado. She had taken refuge in her laundry room with her granddaughter

Soul destroying: Jean Logan surveys the damage to her home in Joplin after the tornado. She had taken refuge in her laundry room with her granddaughter

Levelled: Red Cross representatives say 75% of Joplin is gone – here, vehicles and houses in the vicinity of Twenty-fourth and Main Streets are a jumble of rubble after a the tornado swept through

Levelled: Red Cross representatives say 75% of Joplin is gone - here, vehicles and houses in the vicinity of Twenty-fourth and Main Streets are a jumble of rubble after a the tornado swept through

Homeless: Ted Grabenauer sleeps on his front porch the morning after a tornado ripped off the roof of his home when it hit Joplin, Missouri

Homeless: Ted Grabenauer sleeps on his front porch the morning after a tornado ripped off the roof of his home when it hit Joplin, Missouri

Raised to the ground: Blocks of homes lie in total destruction after the devastating tornado

Raised to the ground: Blocks of homes lie in total destruction after the devastating tornado

Somber: An American flag hangs from a twisted tree limb in Joplin

Somber: An American flag hangs from a twisted tree limb in Joplin

Clean-up begins: ‘There was significant damage caused by large hail, which broke windows and broke tree limbs,’ Ms Watson said. The local post office and volunteer fire department were damaged

Clean-up begins: 'There was significant damage caused by large hail, which broke windows and broke tree limbs,' Ms Watson said. The local post office and volunteer fire department were damaged

Until Saturday, no tornadoes had been reported in May, a month that averages nearly 30. Last May, 127 tornadoes tore through the state.

Governor Sam Brownback declared an emergency for 16 counties, including the one surrounding Reading, Ms Watson said.

The declaration allows state resources to be used in recovery and cleanup and paves the way for federal assistance if needed.

Chopper Footage

More Chopper Footage

Via ScienceDaily