A year after devastating tornadoes swept through Alabama, a preliminary study has found that less than half of those who died received some warning and many of those who took protective action were killed in shelters that could not withstand the strong winds.
The study, which has yet to be published, was carried out by researchers at the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Red Cross, CDC spokeswoman Vivi Abrams said by telephone. The American Red Cross shares disaster data with the CDC.
“These were catastrophic winds that could destroy pretty much anything in its path,” Cindy Chiu, an epidemic intelligence service officer, said, describing the preliminary findings at a CDC conference this month. Her remarks were reported by the Associated Press.
The April 27, 2011, storms included more than 60 tornadoes. Deaths were reported from the central portion of Alabama to the northern edge of the state.