National Geographic News
Austin Hargrove, left, and Haley Hracke, right, help recover personal items from a friends home that was destroyed by Sunday's tornado, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Vilonia, Ark.  A dangerous storm system that spawned a chain of deadly tornadoes over three days flattened homes and businesses, forced frightened residents in more than half a dozen states to take cover and left tens of thousands in the dark Tuesday morning. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Austin Hargrove (at left) and Haley Hracke try to recover personal items from a friend's home in Vilonia, Arkansas, on April 29, 2014.


Brian Clark Howard

National Geographic

Published April 29, 2014

Tornadoes have slashed across the U.S. South and Midwest over the past two days, leaving at least 31 dead, while 75 million Americans remain under severe weather warnings. More tornadoes may come Tuesday night.

Many in affected areas have taken to social media to record the devastation. (Related: "How Scientists Hope to Improve Tornado Forecasting.")

Here are some of the powerful pictures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram:


A spate of tornadoes caused by massive thunderstorms has left a wake of destruction in parts of the South and Midwest.

On Sunday the hardest-hit area was central Arkansas's Faulkner County, where 11 people—including two children—were killed in the towns of Mayflower and Vilonia. Homes were smashed and trucks were tossed through the air.

A tornado was spotted just west of Joplin, Missouri, on Sunday. The town was devastated by a massive tornado in May 2011.

Damage and debris are scattered in Baxter Springs, Kansas, just north of the border with Oklahoma.

Most tornadoes are birthed by large rotating thunderstorms called supercells, like this one pictured near Brooksville, Mississippi, last weekend.

In this Instagram image said to be from Louisville, Mississippi, the poster writes that five people survived inside a flattened two-story home. "Their little dog was sucked out by the tornado but showed back up alive hours later," the user wrote.

This photo is said to depict some of the widespread devastation in Mayflower, Arkansas, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock.

A stuffed toy said to have blown over from a neighbor's property contrasts with wreckage in Mayflower.

Khurram Tayab
Khurram Tayab

May Allah Bless all the victims of this disaster....! Ameen !


Condolences to all who lost loved ones.  Extreme weather has become the norm today.

Callan Thompson
Callan Thompson

Devastated for all those in the States that the tornadoes have hit.

karen ward
karen ward

prayers go out to all of you who survived.  I could not imagine what you're going through.  My heart goes to the ones who didn't survive.  So very sad what nature can do.

Gwendolyn Mugliston
Gwendolyn Mugliston

It must makes me want to weep for them all.  OMG.  

The cynic in me wonders if the insurance companies and our illustrious government who gives to the world but takes heavily from us will compensate for the losses.  Somehow I think making wars is much, much more important. 

David Seabaugh
David Seabaugh

@kenneth Lane. Lived in central Arkansas for 50 years. Extreme weather has ALWAYS occurred in the spring. If you are implying that this is caused by global warming, we haven't had any warming for 16 years now so using your logic the weather should be nice and calm now. Absurd. Absolutely nothing has changed.

John Eller
John Eller

FYI the US is one of the stingiest developed countries in the world when it comes to foreign aid. our financial problems arise from reagan's de-funding the people's government by bending the tax code far, far out of whack, benefitting only the wealthy who haven't paid their share since. we need the tax code as it existed under kennedy.


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