Bushfires to floods: The year of natural disasters

Here are the biggest news stories of the year, capturing the images of Hurricane Dorian, Typhoon Kammuri, California Wildfire, and Amazon Rainforest Fire.

Venice Floods

At least five people died Monday in Italy as fierce winds and rains lashed much of the country and caused waters in the canal-ringed city of Venice to reach historic high levels.
Falling trees killed two people in their car not far from Rome, a man south of the capital and another in the Naples region, authorities said.
Near Savona in the northwest meanwhile, a falling piece of cornice struck and killed an elderly lady.

(Photograph:Reuters)

California Wildfire

With almost 160,000 acres burnt in wildfires in just 2019, California continues to face a crisis. Over the last few years, the intensity and the number of fires have consistently crippled major parts of California, which is the largest state economy in the United States. Winds that bring hot and dry conditions continue to increase the risks of fast-moving wildfires. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands, Bahamas

At least 70 people lost their lives, with more than 250 still missing, when Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm, slammed the Bahamas with 200-mile-per-hour (320-kph) winds during the first week of September. It was one of the strongest Caribbean hurricanes on record and stands as the worst disaster in the history of the archipelago nation of 400,000 people. 

The storm reduced thousands of homes and businesses to rubble and displaced tens of thousands of Bahamians before heading north and making landfall in the Carolinas as a Category 1 hurricane. Once in the United States, Dorian flooded coastal towns, whipped up tornadoes and cut power to hundreds of thousands of people.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Typhoon Kammuri, Philippines

The number of people killed by Typhoon Kammuri's pounding of the Philippines this week has hit 13, officials said Thursday, as authorities confirmed reports of storm-related deaths.
Kammuri's fierce winds toppled trees and flattened flimsy homes across a swathe of the nation's north on Tuesday, and forced a rare 12-hour shutdown of Manila's international airport.
 

(Photograph:Reuters)

Bushfires, Australia

Bushfires are a common and deadly threat in Australia's dry summers but the ferocity and early arrival of this outbreak in the southern hemisphere spring has caught many by surprise. Blazes have been spurred by extremely dry conditions after three years of drought in parts of NSW and Queensland, which experts say has been exacerbated by climate change.

Some major roads outside Sydney were closed and authorities asked people to delay travel, at the start of what is normally a busy Christmas holiday period, warning of the unpredictability of the fires as winds of up to 70 kph (44 mph) were set to fan the flames as temperatures soared above 40C (104F).

(Photograph:Reuters)

Typhoon Hagibis, Japan

Japan is a country that has experienced more than its fair share of disasters. From earthquakes, tsunamis, even volcanic eruptions to catastrophes like the Fukushima nuclear accident that triggered after a magnitude 9 earthquake off the east coast of Japan.

Japan has experienced some of the most extreme weather conditions anywhere on the planet. And Typhoon Hagibis, the island nation's most powerful storm in decades. Is no exception but with precautionary measures in place. Japan is considered one of the best-prepared nations on earth.

(Photograph:AFP)

Amazon Rainforest Fire

The Amazon rainforest, which produces about 20 per cent of the Earth's atmosphere's oxygen, is burning from wildfires at a record rate and has drawn international attention. Environmental activists have been staging protests at Brazilian embassies worldwide and accusing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro of supporting farmers who are burning the rainforest to expand farming land.

(Photograph:Reuters)

White Volcano, New Zealand

A volcano erupted in New Zealand, spewing a plume of ash thousands of feet into the air, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying tourists were among several people unaccounted for as emergency services mounted a rescue operation.
As many as 100 people were in the vicinity when the eruption began about 2:11 p.m. (0111 GMT) on White Island, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the east coast of North Island, authorities said, sending up smoke visible from the mainland.

(Photograph:Reuters)