Presentation on theme: "MAJOR (EF-4) TORNADO DEVASTATES MOORE, A COMMUNITY SOUTH OF OKLAHOMA CITY Monday, May 20, 2013 Walter Hays, Global Alliance for Disaster Reduction, Vienna,"— Presentation transcript:
MAJOR (EF-4) TORNADO DEVASTATES MOORE, A COMMUNITY SOUTH OF OKLAHOMA CITY Monday, May 20, 2013 Walter Hays, Global Alliance for Disaster Reduction, Vienna, Virginia, USA
THIS NEAR-RECORD STORM WAS THE SECOND TO OCCUR IN TWO DAYS THE FIRST STORM HIT AROUND MIDNIGHT ON SUNDAY; THE SECOND AT 3:00 PM ON MONDAY
PLAZA TOWERS ELEM. SCHOOL: BEFORE (TOP) AND AFTER
CINDER BLOCK SCHOOL BUILDINGS VULNERABLE The mostly one-story public school buildings constructed of cinder- block and brick in the 1960’s had little or no chance of withstanding winds of 333 kph (200 mph) that caused walls to fall like a house of cards and tore off roofs.
NOTE: Given the devastation visible after the tornado swept through Moore, it’s likely that no school building would have withstood the intense pressure that the tornado brought to bear on the walls of the two schools.
NEWER SCHOOLS HAVE HAVE REINFORCED CONCRETE WALLS AND SAFE ROOMS NOW, BUT NEITHER OF THESE SCHOOLS DID
ADVANCE \WARNING A 16-minute warning gave teachers/students/residents enough time to implement safety plans and look for places to hide (e.g., retreating to hallways, bath rooms, closets, safe rooms, underground storm cellars, etc.).
IMMEDIATE EVACUATION School officials evacuated fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders to a church about a quarter-mile away before the tornado touched down, - - -
NOT EVACUATED Knowing that it is best NOT to be caught out in the open, the younger students – kindergartners through third graders – were kept at their 440-student school.
THE “IDEAL” TORNADO ALLEY SCHOOL SURVIVAL PLAN Students are moved into a hallway or small room away from the southwest corner of the building and any windows and instructed to either sit or crouch. The objective: Find a place that is structurally secure, without windows, so you can avoid flying glass and debris.
ACTUAL: The younger students crouched in hallways and bathrooms, waiting with teachers, hoping, and praying as the school’s cinder-brick walls started coming apart.
STUDENTS TRAPPED IN THE RUBBLE GOOD NEWS: Only seven of the third grade students trapped in the rubble of the 57-year-old Plaza Towers Elementary School were victims. No casualties at Briarwood Elementary School.
THE MAY 20, 2013 TORNADO DISASTER IS EXPECTED TO ECCLIPSE THE AREA’S MEGA- TORNADO (ES-5) DISASTER OF MAY 3, 1999
REMEMBERING MAY 3, 1999 When another monster tornado roared through Moore on May 3, 1999, 300 students and their parents were attending an awards ceremony in the West Moore High School auditorium.
REMEMBERING MAY 3, 1999 Although the tornado badly damaged the school and tossed 150 cars in the parking lot like tinker-toys, those who hunkered down in the school’s hallways suffered only a few superficial injuries.
Experts now say that having a large number of people crowded into a big building is a bad idea when mega- tornadoes are touching down in the area.
EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE UNDERWAY American Red Cross Samaritan’s Purse Salvation Army Southern Baptists Many others