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165mph tornado leaves 13-mile trail of destruction

A devastating tornado in the USA damaged more than a 1,000 buildings and left a trail of destruction nearly 13 miles long, weather watchers say.

It generated winds of up to 165mph strong and battered a small city in Kansas which may take years to discover.

The tornado – thought to be responsible for the deaths of three storm chasers – caused extensive damage on Friday, mainly in Andover’s Wichita suburb.

The National Weather Service said the tornado also injured several people and was given the second highest EF-3 rating on its Enhanced Fujita scale to assess tornadoes.

Only one storm has been rated EF-5 in the USA in past 10 years.

Andover fire chief Chad Russell said that at least 300 to 400 buildings were destroyed by the storm as part of a total of 1,074 buildings that were damaged.

The weather service added that the tornado was on the ground for 21 minutes on Friday evening.

Wichita firefighters search what's left of John's Animal World on Saturday, April 30, 2022 in Andover, Kan. A suspected tornado that barreled through parts of Kansas has damaged multiple buildings, injured several people and left more than 6,500 people without power. (Jaime Green /The Wichita Eagle via AP)
It is unclear how much the damage will cost (Picture: AP)
A home is destroyed from a possible tornado the next before near Andover, Kan., on Saturday, April 30, 2022 A suspected tornado that barreled through parts of Kansas has damaged multiple buildings, injured several people and left more than 6,500 people without power. (Jaime Green/The Wichita Eagle via AP)
300 to 400 buildings were destroyed, including this home (Picture: AP)
A destroyed house and other structures are seen in rural Sedgwick County, Kan., on Sunday, May 1, 2022, two days after a tornado was reported in the area. (Jaime Green/The Wichita Eagle via AP)
Kansas saw an EF-3 rated storm come through on Friday (Picture: AP)

Four people, including two firefighters who were responding to a call in Andover, were hurt during the storm but their injuries were minor.

Mr Russell said it would take years for Andover to recover from the storm. It is unclear how much repairs will cost.

‘The city of Andover will be affected by this for years,’ he said.

‘We still have scars from 1991 (EF-5 tornado). I’m so thankful this tornado was not as bad as that, but we will literally be doing this for years.’

A Wichita, Kan., firefighter searches a home in Andover, Kan., Friday, April 29, 2022, after a tornado ripped through the area just east of Wichita. (Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle via AP)
A firefighter searches a home in Andover, Kansas (Picture: AP)

Scientists say their understanding of how the climate crisis will affect tornadoes is still evolving – but say some changing elements will make tornadoes more likely.

Far more tornadoes have been reported in recent years, but that is partly due to improved tracking and there is little consensus on what the future will bring.

By Sunday, utility crews had restored power to nearly all of the more than 15,000 customers who lost power during the storm.

Evergy said less than 1,000 people remained without power in the Wichita area on Sunday morning.

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