Natural disasters can cause hundreds of deaths and for the most part are unpredictable. Their power compels with their unpredictable nature mean they are extremely dangerous. The latest US tornadoes are no exception. Late Monday night, several tornadoes have swept through the US state of Ohio, causing injuries and extensive damage. In addition to this, it is estimated that around five million people have been left without power due to the tornadoes. While exact numbers of people affected are unclear at this time, there have been a number of injuries reported around the cities of Dayton and Celin.
Current counts show seven people have been injured in Celina, with three currently being in a serious condition. Dayton Fire Chief Jeff Lykins said that they were extremely fortunate to have no reported deaths. As rescue efforts continue, no one will know the full extent of the damage caused by these natural disasters until the sun comes up and everything will be revealed. Damage surveys in several areas across Ohio will be conducted by the National Weather Service (NWS) in the coming days to see how much has been destroyed and to estimate the total cost of these powerful winds.
The National Weather service confirmed that a large and dangerous tornado was on the ground near the city of Trotwood, which is part of Greater Dayton, at about 23:00 local time (03:00 GMT). The ensuing night was one of terror and anxiety for many people as the NWS could not stress enough that this was a life threatening situation and had issued multiple warnings for people to take cover and protect their loved ones as much as possible.
After the tornadoes had passed, the NWS released some initial estimations stating that there were more than 70,000 power outages in Ohio, which has affected some five million people. Dayton authorities have urged people to conserve as much water as possible for the coming days, and possibly even weeks as the local water plants and pump stations were among the properties that had lost power and experienced some damage.
Trotwood Mayor, Mary McDonald, confirmed that trees and power lines were down and several people had injured as a result of the tornadoes. A number of calls came in and search and rescue operations began. Emergency services worked extremely hard to clear debris and rescue the survivors and so we must commend them on their excellent work and efforts. Furthermore, a Dayton suburb, Beavercreek has issues an emergency declaration with many areas being closed off completely. In addition to this, a number of gas leaks have been reported so authorities are suggesting that people stay out of the closed off areas and stay in their homes, as much as possible while the search and rescue process is still underway.
There has also been tremendous support from charitable organisations such as Red Cross. Montgomery County, which includes Dayton, has received a lot of aid in the form of Red Cross shelters which have been set up across the region, offering water and food to those in need. The charity stated that they are currently focused on supporting the life saving measures which are already in place.
Hopefully if everyone pulls together, as they have proven to do so before in the face of danger, everything will be alright. It’s just lucky that no one was fatally injured. The next tornado might not have such good results though so it’s important to learn from this experience and invest in preparatory infrastructure.