Earthquakes and floods constantly crop up in international headlines, but tornadoes often seem like a uniquely American misfortune.
In part, that's true: The United States sees the most tornadoes in the world, with an average of more than 1,000 tornadoes each year. Canada is second, with around 100 per year, and all other countries combined experience another 100 to 200 tornadoes annually. Measuring by land area, the United Kingdom has a higher rate than any other country, but most of the twisters there are relatively weak.
Tornadoes occur when land is wedged between dry air on one side and warm, moist air on another -- exactly the circumstances the central U.S.'s so-called "Tornado Alley" unfortunately finds itself in. Then there's the more obvious reason: The U.S. is really big, and the more land you have, the more likely natural disasters are to strike your country. America's is also a much longer tornado season -- the storms can happen year-round here -- while countries like Bangladesh have brief, turbulent seasons that are just a few weeks long.
But other parts of the world have suffered through their fair share of twisters; every continent has been struck except for Antarctica (where no warm air means no tornadoes). As this map from the National Climatic Data Center shows, other global tornado hotspots include Bangladesh, South Africa, and Europe:
On April 26, 1989, the deadliest tornado ever struck Bangladesh, killing about 1,300 people, injuring 12,000, and leaving 80,000 homeless. Most experts think the extent of the damage was due to a combination of the force of the winds, the poor quality of home construction, and the extremely high population density.