Monitor: All the News of the World: US comment on the tornadoes that devastated parts of the Mid-West

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The Independent Culture
THERE WAS a sense that the storm was occurring right in front of a nationwide audience, and it undermined once again the persistent naive feeling, which is always being undermined, that what we can watch so closely we can somehow control. Those on the scene know in fact that the only way to control your fate when a tornado strikes is to break off watching and head for the storm cellar. From The Wizard of Oz to Monday afternoon, we have perpetuated the myth of a kind of visual coexistence with twisters. But to watch your own tornado is a little like watching your own funeral. The wonder about Monday's storm, given its path, is not that so many died but that so many did not.

The New York Times

THE IMMEDIATE devastation is, unfortunately, only the beginning of misfortune for many. Nature unleashes powerful bursts of tragedy on the hills and flatlands of Mid-America. But we are blessed with strong communities filled with courage and compassion. Our governmental institutions will help in big ways, as they should. Gov Bill Graves has visited the Wichita area. President Clinton declared parts of Oklahoma and Kansas disaster areas later in the day. But more important, today, tomorrow, next week, throughout the year, the call for help will go out. And it will be heard, in our minds and in our hearts, and acted upon, again and again.

Wichita Eagle, Kansas

THE NEWS footage from the area is heartbreaking and serves as a reminder for us here on the Texas Gulf Coast: a reminder of the destructive force and whimsy of nature that literally can wipe whole communities right off the map. And a reminder that we are about to enter the annual season for hurricanes, for which we usually have the good fortune to have more advanced warning than the people in Oklahoma and Kansas received. Compassion is in order for the victims of Monday's tornadoes. Also in order is preparedness for a day when the nation's eyes and sympathies might be focused closer to home.

Houston Chronicle, Texas