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Jun 14, 2014 04:55 AM EDT

Florida Most Vulnerable to Tornadoes than Other States: Survey

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Florida is the most vulnerable to tornadoes than other states in the United States, according to a new study by the University of North Carolina.

According to an examination of the past three decades by the federal Southeast Regional Climate Center at the University, Florida leads the country in deaths related to tornadoes followed by Tennessee, North Carolina, Ohio and Alabama.

The researchers found that Florida's death rate of 2.4 deaths per 100 miles of tornado is two-and-a-half times more than that of Oklahoma and nearly five times that of Kansas.

Center director Charles Konrad II said that the reason why Florida is at the top of the table is because of the increasing presence of mobile homes and a huge population of the elderly and poor. Konrad also said that Florida doesn't encounter as many tornadoes as Oklahoma or Kansas. But, when it does, residents are more susceptible to it.

"People are just much more vulnerable in a mobile home than they are in a regular home," Konrad said, AP reports.

Konrad said that poor visibility also makes these southern eastern states at an increased risk of tornado attacks. The professor said that due to atmospheric conditions, the region mostly gets tornadoes at night. As a result, most people are asleep and tend to miss warnings.

Besides Florida, more tornado-related deaths occur in Dixie Alley - including Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and western parts of the Carolinas.

Three years ago, over 316 people lost their lives from more than 200 tornadoes in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia.

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