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Deaths have decreased, but improvement needed

Updated:
(Oklahoma City-AP) -- Officials say tornadoes get more attention these days, but deaths caused by twisters have declined significantly.

Meteorologist Harold Brooks is with the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma. Brooks says the 44 deaths during last May third's tornado outbreak in Oklahoma were the most since 1985, when 90 people were killed in twisters in Ohio and
Pennsylvania.

But he said tornado death tolls are much lower than those in the early 1900s.

He said in recent years, tornadoes have killed about 30 to 40 people a year, but in the 1920s, an average of about 200 people a year died in twisters.

Brooks says technology such as radar and computers can take credit for the fewer deaths, but better-built houses have also
helped.

He said there's still cause for concern. For instance people's chances of dying is 20 greater if they're in a mobile home than in
a permanent structure.
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