The damage photographs here remind me of the damage done by the 1989 Daulatpur–Saturia tornado in Bangladesh (wish I could find that video of the aftermath of it) the deadliest tornado in world history, in the sense that the damage looks severe but not what I'd call "incredible". The high death toll from this thing can likely be attributed to lack of warning and the crowded and cramped conditions that many people in Paraguay endured back then.The worst tornado in European History hit the town of Encarnación, Paraguay on September 20th, 1926. It's basically the Tri-State-Tornado of South America, although nowhere near as long-tracked, but in terms of death toll, it's completely standing by itself, with no other tornado coming close to it.
The morning of September 20th, 1926 was actually raining in Encarnación, Paraguay. The rain had cleared by the afternoon, and hot, blistering heat took it's place. The heat was so hot that it was "hard to breathe," indicating lots of instability in the atmosphere. As the sun set that evening, a orange and red colored sunset was observed by the residents. To it's north, was an "unfathomable darkness," likely the parent supercell approaching the city. As the supercell approached, the skies darkened. Torrential rain began to fall, and very heavy winds began to occur. A roar filled the sky, so loud it it was as if "every noise in existence had combined into one." Heavy lightning, large hail, and heavy winds were present with this supercell thunderstorm, suggesting this storm was of the High-Precipitation kind, typical of supercells in this region.
The tornado is assumed to have formed over the river near Encarnación, and rapidly intensified into a violent tornado. The first sign of the impending disasters was when the citizens noted power flashes on the dock, as the tornado approached the town. The dock was completely annihilated, resulting in many fatalities. Those who survived the initial impact were electrocuted to death by destroyed wires. One man, however, sacrificed his life to disconnect the power, saving many more lives. The tornado then began to plow into the heart of town, leveling and sweeping away entire homes. Many fatalities occurred when homes were either leveled, or picked up and thrown long distances. Brick businesses were razed to the ground. Trees were debarked. The tornado took 300 lives in this area before moving out of Encarnación, and into the thick forests, where it continued for an unknown period of time before dissipating.
Based on eyewitness accounts, the tornado appears to have been completely rainwrapped, again typical for supercells in this particular region. Those in surrounding neighborhoods actually had no idea that a tornado had occurred until an alarm sounded after the tornado's passage, although they also experienced very high winds, lightning, and heavy hail. Heavy rain continued to fall, and lightning continued to occur as cries for help began to become audible. The massive scale of the disaster only became apparent the next morning, and a telegram was sent to Asunción, the capital of Paraguay the next morning. It read:"Yesterday at 6:45 PM a strong cyclone swept most of Encarnación, a lower city. There are numerous victims. Immediately, a relief train, just like the ones cities in the USA used to dispatch after violent tornadoes (The 1925 Tri State Tornado for example) descended on Encarnación. Looting was a major problem, as a lot of sightseers came to see the damage, but there were also people with good intentions. Filmmakers filmed the aftermath, and sold the film to raise money for the relief fund. Anonymous volunteers helped with the cleanup, and helped with the rebuilding process. Today, most of the physical scars have faded, but the tornado will be forever etched into the history of Encarnación.
Some of the worst damage I could find
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Also, Paraguay is part of South America, not Europe, just a nitpick.