A candle factory, epicenter of the tragedy of the tornado wave in the United States | International

State in which a candle factory was left in Mayfield (Kentucky), after the passage of a tornado in the early hours of Saturday.
State in which a candle factory was left in Mayfield (Kentucky), after the passage of a tornado in the early hours of Saturday.CHENEY ORR (Reuters)

The tornado blew out the candle factory. It might sound witty if it weren’t describing a tragedy. Dozens of employees at a candle factory in Mayfield, a town in western Kentucky, saw their workplace turned into a mousetrap on Friday in which many – on Saturday night it was still difficult to know how many – found their deaths when the lamp collapsed. structure of the building in the wake of one of the tornadoes that ravaged the state. Tennessee, Arkansas, Illinois, Mississippi and Missouri also suffered from the meteorological fury that hit the region with a force of which in those places they had no memory.

“It would be a miracle if we found one more survivor at the factory, and we believe that several dozen fellow citizens have died,” Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said Saturday. It is estimated that there were about 110 people inside, and that at least around 40 saved their lives, according to the first information. At the end of Saturday, the figure exceeded 80 deaths, although the authorities predicted, without fear of exaggeration, that the number of fatalities will exceed one hundred.

Amid so much devastation, Mayfield dawned on Saturday as the epicenter of the tragedy, with large areas of the town of 10,000 inhabitants reduced to a mass of wood, brick and metal. The aerial images taken by the first drones were reminiscent of the landscape of a city devastated by war. Another hit especially hard was Dickson County, outside Nashville, Tennessee, where 25 houses disappeared in the storm in what seemed like a peaceful prelude to a pre-Christmas weekend that turned into hell. At ground zero for destruction, onlookers included among their pastimes Saturday night checking out the tornado’s ravages in the Murrell Road area. Neighbors had spent much of the day without power.

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The wind also blew away the roof of an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, as if it were the castle structure raised by a child, where the storm left at least six dead in its wake. A nursing home in Monette (Arkansas) was another point on the map of the disaster.

President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency for Kentucky on Saturday. “We are going to overcome this, and we are going to do it together,” he said at a press conference from his weekend residence in Wilmington (Delaware). Biden has defined what happened as “an unimaginable tragedy.”

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Volunteers from World Central Kitchen, the NGO run by Spanish chef José Andrés, began working in the area within hours of the tornado. The latest Princess of Asturias Award for Concord flew in the afternoon to Nashville from Washington, where it has some of the best restaurants in town, to help out on the ground.

The Kentucky governor has explained that his fellow citizens expected “strong storms” and “a tornado” on Friday, but not a meteorological hammer like the one that ended up unleashing his fury on a vast region of the Midwest and the South of the United States. One of the more than 30 tornadoes that hit the state on a whim, it traveled nearly 400 kilometers, a record, according to the records of the National Weather Service.

It is now in question whether the alarm signals worked properly.

After wiping out everything in its path, the storm has headed in the last hours of Saturday towards the East Coast, where the tail of its fury has left rain and strong winds.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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