Following the massive tornado that killed over 132 and damaged many houses in Joplin, experts speculate that the danger is far from being over due to a possible contamination of water and air from industrial debris.
Many industrial and commercial setups were destroyed and a large fire burned for hours near the St. John's Regional Medical Center. Besides, heavy rains in the region caused flash flooding, possibly fouling local waterways.
The multi-vortex tornado, has in fact, been categorized as the eighth-deadliest single tornado in the history of the United States with an estimated loss of around $3 billion. Although, immediately after the disaster rescue operators were sent to search for missing people and a special $1 billion federal aid has been proposed, the aftermaths of the disaster are still lurking in the region.
The Associated Press reported that there is a possibility that liquid fuels and chemicals can leak from ruptured containers and contaminate groundwater. Ruined buildings may contain asbestos. Fires can generate smoke containing soot, dioxins and other pollutants.
If plastics, asbestos material or treated wood find their way into brush fires, they could produce emissions particularly dangerous for people with asthma or respiratory diseases, David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany-SUNY to the American news agency.
I know there's a huge amount of debris, but finding a landfill in a valley someplace where you can put it and cover it over is a lot wiser than burning it. There are health hazards associated with burning debris of any sort.
Thus, the proper handling of waste matters and debris is very important to prevent further environmental and health hazards. Catch a glimpse of the some of the aftermaths of one of the world's deadliest tornadoes: