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Year End

2010's Worst Disasters in Photos

Dec 19, 2010 – 8:25 PM
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AOL Staff

AOL News
For millions of people around the world, 2010 was the year the earth shook, volcanoes erupted and the weather brought deadly extremes. Click though the gallery below to see some of the most striking images from the year's natural disasters.

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Natural Disasters of 2010

On Jan. 12, Haiti was rocked by a powerful, 7.0-magnitude earthquake. The temblor killed 230,000 people, injured another 300,000, and left 1 million homeless, according to the Haitian government. Nearly a hear after the quake, Haiti's infrastructure remains in ruins. And the disasters keep striking: A cholera outbreak has killed more than 2,400 people. In this photo from February, a woman and her baby visit the spot where their home once stood in Port-au-Prince.

Natural Disasters of 2010

A man walks across a dried reservoir in the outskirts of Kunming in China's Yunnan province on Feb. 2. In the spring of 2010, southern China experienced one of its worst droughts in a century. By mid-March, an estimated 51 million people in five provinces were experiencing water shortages.

Natural Disasters of 2010

President Barack Obama dubbed it "Snowmageddon." A powerful storm dumped more than 20 inches of snow on the East Coast on Feb. 6. Just days later, another storm dropped another 10 inches of the white stuff on the beleaguered region. Thousands of people lost power. Washington, where the Capitol is shown covered in snow, was among the hardest-hit areas.

Natural Disasters of 2010

A massive, 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile on Feb. 27. It lasted 90 seconds and triggered a tsunami that devastated several coastal towns in south-central Chile. The tsunami caused damage as far away as San Diego, Calif., and Japan. More than 500 people were killed and hundreds of others were displaced.

Natural Disasters of 2010

A volcano in southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier began erupting in March, and its fury affected travelers all over Europe. Fearing that volcano ash would get into plane engines, aviation authorities closed airspace over Europe for several days. Thousands of flights were canceled and hundreds of thousands of travelers were stranded. Melted ice from the glacier led to floods that forced the temporary evacuation of about 800 Icelanders, but no serious injuries were reported.

Natural Disasters of 2010

A 6.9-magnitude earthquake shook Yushu, China, on April 14. Sleet, frigid temperatures and rough terrain hampered aid workers trying to get to the remove region near Tibet. Around 3,000 people died and more than 12,000 were injured. Here, Buddhist monks watch a mass cremation of victims' bodies on April 17 in Jiegu, Yushu County.

Natural Disasters of 2010

Heavy rains led to devastating floods in Central and Eastern Europe in May and June. Poland, where 23,000 people had to be evacuated, was the hardest-hit country. Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia and Ukraine were also affected. Overall, 37 deaths were reported. Here, farmers help a horse jump into an amphibious vehicle on the banks of the Wisla river in central Poland on May 24.

Natural Disasters of 2010

Guatemala's Pacaya volcano erupted on May 27, covering the country's capital in ash. Just two days later, Tropical Storm Agatha hit the Central American nation, bringing heavy rains that led to flooding and landslides. A giant sinkhole emerged in downtown Guatemala City, swallowing a three-story building.

Natural Disasters of 2010

Heavy monsoon rains brought devastating flood to Pakistan in July. At one point, one-fifth of the nation was under water. Some 20 million people were affected and around 2,000 were killed. Aid workers had a difficult time reaching desperate survivors. Tensions were exacerbated when a Taliban spokesman demanded the Pakistani government reject aid from "Christians and Jews." Here, Pakistani soldiers pass a baby across floodwaters as they help villagers flee.

Natural Disasters of 2010

As Russia sweltered through its hottest summer on record, hundreds of fires swept across the country in late July and August. Smoke hung over Moscow and environmental groups warned that radioactive particles that had settled into the soil after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster could be thrown up into the air again. As many as 15,000 people died in the heat wave and fires, Weather Underground says. Here, a man wearing a protective mask walks past homes destroyed in a fire in Peredeltsy, Russia, on Aug. 4.

Natural Disasters of 2010

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