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How much damage can a tornado do?

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Quick Answer

All tornadoes are possible of causing damage to structural buildings and human life, explains ECoffeeOnline.com. Some tornadoes, depending on their size, cause catastrophic damage and major loss of lives. A large tornado moves at a high speed, levels everything in its path, throws vehicles on the road and sends debris flying at an incredibly high speed through the air.

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Full Answer

The wind caused by a tornado is its primary source of damage and destruction. Tornadoes are measured based on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. The weakest tornadoes, with wind speeds 65 to 85 mph, can rip branches off trees, uproot small trees and tear shingles off of houses. An EF 1 tornado has wind speeds ranging from 86 to 110 mph. These winds can tear up mobile homes and rooftops and cause exterior damage to houses. An EF 2 tornado's winds range from 111 to 135 mph. Winds of this consistency uproot mobile homes, tear roofs completely off houses and cause foundation damage to homes. A tornado with winds in the 136 to 165 range is classified as an EF3 tornado. It can destroy multiple-story homes, toss heavy vehicles and overturn trains full of shipments. It can also pick mobile homes up and move houses; large structures, such as office buildings, may suffer serious destruction. EF4 tornadoes have winds in the range of 166 to 200 mph. Tornadoes of this magnitude posses the capability of destroying entire homes, but they are not the most intense tornadoes. EF5 tornadoes have winds in excess of 200 mph. These tornadoes cause destructive and devastating damage. Cars are hurdled like a missiles, two-story houses are leveled and large office building are flattened, destroyed and devastated. Structural buildings are deformed and no longer safe to enter.

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