2017 — a year of disaster

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Catastrophe

2017 — a year of disaster

Hurricane Harvey is pictured off the coast of Texas, U.S. from aboard the International Space Station in this August 25, 2017 NASA handout photo.
NASA | Reuters

2017 was a devastating year with natural disasters such as catastrophic floods, wildfires and earthquakes affecting millions across the globe. Sigma recently estimated that disasters this year caused an estimated $306 billion in total economic losses. Global insured losses made it the third-most expensive year for the insurance industry.

Here are images from some of those catastrophes.

  • China flooding (June-July)

    A man makes his way on a wooden boat through a flooded area in Liuzhou in Guangxi province on July 2. Major flooding in southern and central China affected more than 14 million people.

    A man makes his way with a wooden boat through a flooded area in Liuzhou, Guangxi province, China July 2, 2017. Picture taken July 2, 2017.
    Reuters
  • Sierra Leone floods and landslides (August)

    Bystanders look on as floodwaters rage past a damaged building in Freetown on Aug. 14, after landslides struck Sierra Leone. More than 1,000 people were killed and thousands were left homeless when heavy rain caused landslides and flooding around the capital city.

    Bystanders look on as floodwaters rage past a damaged building in an area of Freetown on August 14, 2017, after landslides struck the capital of the west African state of Sierra Leone. At least 312 people were killed and more than 2,000 left homeless when heavy flooding hit Sierra Leone's capital of Freetown, leaving morgues overflowing and residents desperately searching for loved ones.
    Mohamed Saidu Bah | AFP | Getty Images
  • Hurricane Harvey (August)

    Harvey was the strongest hurricane to hit the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and the fiercest to strike southeast Texas since 1961. The heaviest rainfall total was more than 60 inches in Nederland, Texas, from Aug. 24 to Sept. 1, according to weather.com. Houston was flooded with more than 35 inches of rain. Officials estimated that 70 percent of Harris County, including Houston, was flooded by at least 1.5 feet of water, swamping more than 136,000 structures by Aug. 31.

    This aerial photo shows residential neighborhoods near Interstate 10 in Houston on Aug. 29.

    Residential neighborhoods near the Interstate 10 sit in floodwater in the wake of Hurricane Harvey on August 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas.
    Marcus Yam | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
  • India flooding (August)

    Indian villagers wade through floodwaters after collecting relief food near submerged houses in the village of Gazole in the Indian state of West Bengal on Aug. 22. More than 24 million people were affected by some of the worst floods to hit South Asia in decades, with large areas of land submerged in water.

    Indian villagers wade through flood waters after collecting relief food near the submerged houses in Gazole village at Malda district in the Indian state of West Bengal on August 22, 2017. More than 24 million people have been affected by some of the worst flooding to hit South Asia in decades, with large areas of land submerged in water.
    Diptendu Dutta | AFP | Getty Images
  • Hurricane Irma (August-September)

    Hurricane Irma was the most intense Atlantic storm to hit the United States since Katrina in 2005, leading to scores of deaths, including 14 at a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida. Before it crashed into Florida, it walloped islands including Puerto Rico and Cuba, where residents in this photo waded through a flooded street in Havana on Sept. 10.

    Cubans wade through a flooded street in Havana, on September 10, 2017.
    Yamil Lage | AFP | Getty Images
  • Mexico earthquakes (September)

    Mexico suffered two major earthquakes in September. The first, on Sept. 7, struck in the state of Chiapas. Registering magnitude 8.2, it killed 98 people and affected more than 1.5 million.

    The second earthquake struck central Mexico in and around Mexico City on Sept. 19, measuring magnitude 7.1, killing 370 people and collapsing more than 40 buildings. It happened on the 32nd anniversary of the devastating Mexico City quake in 1985.

    In this photo, rescuers look for survivors in a flattened multistory building in Mexico City on Sept. 19.

    Rescuers look for survivors in a multistory building flattened by a powerful quake in Mexico City on September 19, 2017. A devastating quake in Mexico on Tuesday killed more than 100 people, according to official tallies, with a preliminary 30 deaths recorded in the capital where rescue efforts were still going on.
    Mario Vaszque | AFP | Getty Images
  • Bangladesh monsoon (September)

    Refugees facing a man-made catastrophe in Myanmar cross a flooded bridge in the Balukhali Rohingya camp on Sept. 19 in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, after a monsoon. Hundreds of thousands of mostly Muslim Rohingyas have fled into Bangladesh since late August during the outbreak of violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state.

    The monsoons affected more than 40 million people across South Asia, including Bangladesh, India and Nepal.

    Refugees cross a flooded bridge in the Balukhali Rohingya refugee camp on September 19, 2017 in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Over 400,000 Rohingya refugees have fled into Bangladesh since late August during the outbreak of violence in the Rakhine state as Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi broke her silence on the Rohingya crisis on Tuesday and defended the security forces while criticism on her handling of the Rohingya crisis grows. Recent satellite images released by Amnesty International provided evidence that security forces were trying to push the minority Muslim group out of the country.
    Getty Images
  • Hurricane Maria (September)

    Weeks after Hurricane Irma, Maria delivered a devastating second punch to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and elsewhere. The storm wiped out Puerto Rico's power grid, and tens of thousands of people are still without electricity.

    Irma Maldanado of Corozal, Puerto Rico, stands with her parrot and her dog in what is left of her home.

    Irma Maldanado stands with Sussury her parrot and her dog in what is left of her home that was destroyed when Hurricane Maria passed through on September 27, 2017 in Corozal, Puerto Rico.
    Getty Images
  • Northern California wildfires (October)

    More than a dozen wildfires ravaged thousands of acres across Northern California in October, killing at least 11 people and destroying more than 1,500 commercial and residential buildings.

    This aerial view shows properties destroyed by the Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa, California, on Oct. 11.

    An aerial view of properties destroyed by the Tubbs Fire is seen in Santa Rosa, California, U.S., October 11, 2017.
    Stephen Lam | Reuters
  • Vietnam typhoon, (November)

    A woman wades through a submerged street in the UNESCO heritage ancient town of Hoi An after Typhoon Damrey hit Vietnam. The typhoon killed scores of people and caused more than $1 billion in damage.

    A woman wades through a submerged street in the UNESCO heritage ancient town of Hoi An after typhoon Damrey hit Vietnam, November 6, 2017.
    Kham | Reuters
  • Iran earthquake (November)

    A damaged building is seen after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake in Sarpol-e Zahab county in Kermanshah, Iran, near the Iraq border. The quake killed more than 500 people.

    A damaged building is seen following an earthquake in Sarpol-e Zahab county in Kermanshah, Iran.
    Tasnim News Agency | Reuters
  • Bali volcano (November)

    A series of intense eruptions from Mount Agung in Bali, Indonesia, forced thousands to evacuate and closed airports due to the volcanic ash. The last major eruption of Mount Agung was in 1963.

    A tourist takes a picture of Mount Agung eruption at Besakih temple in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia, November 28, 2017.
    Antara Foto | Nyoman Budhiana | Reuters
  • Southern California wildfires (December)

    The massive Thomas fire in Southern California now ranks as the state's largest-ever wildfire, scorching more than 280,000 acres, or 440 square miles — nearly the size of New York City.

    It broke out Dec. 4, and as of this week, it was still not fully contained, according to Cal Fire.

    In this photo, firefighters attack the north flank with backfires near the resort town of Ojai on Dec. 9.

    Fire fighters attack the Thomas Fire’s north flank with backfires as they continue to fight a massive wildfire north of Los Angeles, near Ojai , California, U.S., December 9, 2017.
    Gene Blevins | Reuters