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From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report.
On May 20th, a tornado brought death and destruction to the American community of Moore, Oklahoma. The tornado had wind speeds of up to 400 kilometers an hour. Twenty-four people were killed when the storm cut through the city. People had only a 15 minute to react to warnings. Some fled Moore or took refuge in the most secure area of their homes. The lucky ones took cover in underground shelters or steel-and-concrete structures called safe rooms.
Leslie Chapman Henderson is head of a non-profit group called the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. She is a big supporter of tornado safe rooms. She says they can help reduce the number of tornado deaths. A safe room is part of a house that has been built to resist high winds and flying wreckage.
Skye Strouhal survived the tornado in Moore. She watched as it moved in her direction. She and a friend ran to a neighbor’s underground shelter only minutes before the storm struck. Better methods for predicting storms give people like Skye Strouhal and her friend more time. But they need someplace safe to go. Structures can be built to resist strong winds, but not like those in the Moore tornado. It was rated F-5, a tornado with the fastest wind speeds known.
Moore lies in an area of the United States called tornado alley, where powerful storm systems are common. The tornado in May was the fourth to strike the city in 14 years. Moore’s mayor is pushing for laws requiring safe rooms in all new buildings. Similar proposals had been made after each recent tornado strike. But, no laws were passed.