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Public Information Statement

Statement as of 6:00 AM CST on December 18, 2014


... On this date in weather history...

In 1957... an outbreak of 23 tornadoes... of which 14 were
F3 or stronger... tore through eastern Missouri and much
of Illinois. In south central Illinois... an F5 tornado
struck the town of Sunfield with such ferocity... that the
town literally vanished. It is the latest occurrence of
an F5 tornado in any given year on record. Remarkably
only one person was killed and only 6 were injured. Ten
minutes later... a vicious F4 tornado developed. It
closely paralleled the track of the infamous tri state
tornado of March 18... 1925. Sprinting east northeast
around 60 mph... the twister roared across 3 counties. It
possessed a track 30 miles long and around 300 yards
wide... killed 11... and injured around 200. The most
serious damage occurred in Murphysboro... where 10 of the
fatalities occurred and power was lost for 3 days.

&&

In 1944... the SHIPS of United States Navy task force
38... consisting of 7 fleet and 6 light aircraft
carriers... 8 battleships... 15 cruisers... and around 150
destroyers were operating around 300 miles east of Luzon
in the Philippine Sea when a small... but
violent... typhoon overtook the task force with little
warning. Many of the SHIPS were caught near the center
of the typhoon and buffeted by extreme seas and winds
that briefly reached 145 mph. Three destroyers capsized
and sank with nearly all crew... while a cruiser... 5
aircraft carriers... and 3 destroyers were seriously
damaged. Approximately 790 men were killed. Fires
occurred on 3 carriers when planes broke loose in their
hangars and 146 planes on various SHIPS were lost or
damaged beyond repair... some of which were swept
overboard.


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