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2020 climate disasters in 50 photos

  • Dust storm hits Akara, Turkey

    A massive cloud of dust—a sandstorm, or haboob—grays the sky in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Sept. 12.

  • Wildfires in Washington

    Wildfire smoke obscures the view of Elliott Bay as a person bikes past a Pike Place Market sign on Sept. 11, in Seattle. Air quality worsened as smoke from dozens of wildfires in forests of the Pacific Northwest and along the West Coast descended onto the region.

  • Beachie Creek Fire in Oregon

    The melted sign of the Oak Park Motel destroyed by the flames of the Beachie Creek Fire is seen in Gates, east of Salem, Oregon, on Sept. 13. The wildfire caused the evacuation of 40,000 residents, killing at least nine people.

  • Oregon’s Almeda Fire destroys homes

    A firefighter checks for hot spots in a landscape completely charred by the Almeda Fire along Highway 99 on Sept. 15, in Talent, Oregon. City leaders estimate at least 600 homes were lost.

  • Eastern France experiences drought

    An aerial view shows boats sitting on the bed of the dried-out Doubs River on Sept. 15, in Villers-le-Lac, eastern France. A drought in the region has caused the river to be at one of its lowest levels in more than a century.

     

  • Hurricane Sally slams the Gulf Coast

    A resident looks at a broken power cable as it lies on the street during Hurricane Sally in Pascagoula, Mississippi, on Sept. 16. Hurricane Sally barrelled into the U.S. Gulf Coast with forecasts of drenching rains that could provoke “historic” and potentially deadly flash floods.

    The National Hurricane Center said the Category 2 storm hit Gulf Shores, Alabama, at about 5:45 a.m. EDT, bringing maximum sustained winds of about 105 mph. Its slow-moving action helped generate great amounts of rainfall that left hundreds of thousands of residents with flooded streets and no power.

  • Erosion eats away Senegal coast

    A woman looks down a newly formed crack in the walkway that leads to the mosque in Bargny, Senegal, on Sept. 18. Fishing villages like Bargny have been fighting the rising seas for decades as hundreds of houses have been lost and families displaced.

    Through the months of July to September, peaking at the equinox, coastal towns like Bargny braced for the worst—tides were at their highest, rising every year; and storms were more frequent, battering the coastline, which speeds up the erosion.

  • Glass Fire devastates Napa and Sonoma counties

    The Glass Fire caused damage in Napa County along CA-128, as seen on Sept. 30, in Calistoga, California. In 13 days, the fire covered more than 67,000 acres and burned into Sonoma County. It damaged close to 300 buildings and destroyed more than 1,500 more in the counties.

  • Deadly flooding in southeastern France

    An aerial view of Tende, in southeast France near the Italian border, on Oct. 6, shows widespread damage caused by extensive flooding in the Alpes-Maritimes departement. Intense flooding hammered southeast France, Oct. 2, causing at least 12 confirmed deaths. Hundreds of people were evacuated after storms dumped huge amounts of rain that turned streams into churning torrents that swept away cars, houses and bridges in the French Alps north of Nice.

  • Hurricane Delta hits the Gulf Coast

    View of a fallen lifeguard cabin at the beach after the passage of Hurricane Delta in Cancun, Quintana Roo state, Mexico, on Oct. 7. Hurricane Delta slammed into Mexico's Caribbean coast early Wednesday, toppling trees, ripping down power lines and lashing a string of major beach resorts with winds of up to 110 mph.

    It was the 10th named storm to make landfall in the U.S. this year, reaching Creole, Louisiana, as a Category 2 storm at 7 p.m. EDT on Oct. 9, packing 100 mph winds. It was the second in six weeks to slam Louisiana–-Hurricane Laura visited at the end of August.

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