2011 now deadliest year for tornadoes since 1950

By The Associated Press

JOPLIN, Mo. — This year is now the deadliest year for tornadoes since 1950.

That’s based on an assessment of figures from the National Weather Service. City officials in Joplin, Mo., raised the death toll on Saturday from last week’s massive twister to 139. That puts the total for the year at 520.

Until now, the highest recorded death toll in a single year was 519, in 1953. There were deadlier storms before 1950, but those counts were based on estimates and not on precise figures.

The Joplin tornado was an EF5 storm packing 200 mph winds. More than 900 people were injured.