As previously discussed, 2011 has been the Year of the Tornado, at least in the United States. Massive storms caused cataclysmic damage to Missouri and Alabama in May, complete with a combined death toll that approached 500 people. In both instances, the social media leg of the Internet responded with massive display of well-wishes and prayers, as people showed genuine concern for their fellow person.
Another aspect of the Internet that "benefited" from the tornadoes was YouTube, who saw their tornado-related content increase at an exponential level. To wit, a simple search for "Tornado 2011" returns over 160,000 results. Granted, it's doubtful every single one of the videos are related to the storms in Alabama and Missouri, but, following that rationale, a lot of them are. As is the nature of the Internet, once other stories popped up, the public moved on to other areas of interest; but once Massachusetts was hit earlier this week, the topic once again became a popular YouTube trend:
As of Thursday morning, the highest rising group of search terms on YouTube were related to these tornadoes.
There was, of course, quite a few videos of the Massachusetts tornado uploaded, and a few of them have already eclipsed the 100,000 views plateau.
Some of them are impressive captures of the storms in question:
While other ones are absolutely heartbreaking:
For what it's worth, the National Weather Service categorized at least one of the tornadoes that struck Massachusetts as an F-3 sized twister. While that may not be as big as the Alabama and Missouri strikes -- both of which had F-5 level twisters -- it's frighteningly obvious you don't need the biggest sized tornado to do a great deal of damage. For further proof, start with the Reuters slideshow and go from there.
It does a good job of reminding us just how fragile things really are, especially when nature turns destructive.