A map of tornado-related fatalities in 2011.

Visualizing the world.
May 23 2011 5:05 PM

The Year of the Tornado

More people have died in tornadoes in 2011 than in the past seven years combined. Here's an interactive map of fatalities.

The death toll from tornadoes in the United States in 2011 was already at an unprecedented 365 people before a massive twister tore through a Missouri town Sunday, claiming at least another 90 lives. That brings the total fatalities from tornadoes this year to more than 2004-10 combined, when a total of 415 people died in twister-related accidents, according to National Weather Service data.

The following map, an update of a mapSlate published when twisters struck the Midwest in late April, breaks out this data by fatalities in buildings, mobile homes, vehicles, and the outdoors. Even though mobile homes make up less than 20 percent of all homes, even in rural areas, they have accounted for about half of all tornado fatalities in the past three years. The National Weather Service is still collecting data for Sunday's storms. In some cases, the total count is higher than the combined values for different locations since the circumstances of some fatalities are unknown.

Not pictured here: One fatality was reported in Hennepin, Minn., on May 22.

Tornado-related deaths, 2011. Click the buttons to see data by circumstance.

Chris Wilson is a Slate contributor.


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