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In pictures: the natural disasters of 2011

Last year saw a number of major natural disasters strike, including earthquakes in Japan, New Zealand and Turkey, volcanic eruptions in Chile and Iceland, and severe tropical storms in Asia.

FLOODING, VOLCANIC eruptions, typhoons and earthquakes: 2011 brought them all.

In February, over 180 people were killed when an earthquake struck the south-eastern city of Christchurch in New Zealand.

A month later, thousands died after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck the east coast of Japan in March, and many remain missing.

Volcanoes erupting in Iceland and Chile caused air travel chaos and forced the evacuation of those living nearby from their homes. Over a dozen weather systems struck the Philippine islands over the past 12 months and the most powerful (Tropical Storm Washi in December) alone left 1,000 dead.

Here are some of the most dramatic images of the natural disasters which struck in 2011:

In pictures: the natural disasters of 2011
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  • Grimsvotn volcano

    NASA MODIS satellite image of the ash plume from Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano, which disrupted air travel in May. (AP Photo/NASA/PA Images)
  • Grimsvotn volcano

    A dead lamb lies in an ash-covered field close to Kirkjubaearklaustrur, Iceland on 24 May 2011 after the Grimsvotn volcano erupted. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti/PA Images)
  • Grimsvotn volcano

  • New Zealand Earthquake

    A car lies under the rubble of a building damaged in the earthquake in Lyttelton, on the outskirts of Christchurch, New Zealand, on 22 February 2011. The magnitude-6.3 quake caused extensive damage and killed 181 people. (AP Photo/Mark Baker/PA Images)
  • New Zealand Earthquake

    An aerial view of emergency crew working at the ruined CTV building in central in Christchurch, New Zealand on 23 February, 2011. (AP Photo/Sarah Ivey/PA Images)
  • Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

    Buildings burn in Yamada town, Iwate prefecture after Japan's biggest recorded earthquake struck on 11 March, 2011. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun/PA Images)
  • Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

    Earthquake-triggered tsunami waves sweep along Iwanuma in northern Japan on 11 March, 2011. (AP Photo/Kyodo News/PA Images)
  • Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

    A man searches for a family members in the ruins of tsunami-hit area in Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture on 20 March, 2011. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama/PA Images)
  • Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

    A sightseeing boat washed away by the 11 March tsunami sits on a ruined building in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, Japan on 23 March. (AP Photo/Kyodo News/PA Images)
  • Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

    A woman holds her dog as they are scanned for radiation at a scanning centre for residents living close to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant on 16 March, 2011. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull/PA Images)
  • Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

    Aerial photo taken 20 March, 2011 by a small unmanned drone of the damaged Unit 4, left, and Unit 3 of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. (AP Photo/AIR PHOTO SERVICE/PA Images)
  • Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

    On the left: residents wait for rescuers on the balcony of the debris-dangling house in Rikuzentakata, Iwate prefecture on 12 March after the devastating earthquake and tsunami struck. Right: the same building with the debris almost cleared as photographed on June 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Kyodo News/PA Images)
  • Thailand Floods

    Vehicles at a Honda factory submerged in floodwaters in Ayutthaya, central Thailand on 23 November, 2011. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit/PA Images)
  • Thailand Floods

    A Thai man and his dog leave their flooded neighbourhood in a makeshift vessel in Bangkok, Thailand on 16 November, 2011. Months of heavy rain and flooding killed over 560 people across the country. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri/PA Images)
  • Thailand Floods

  • Thailand Floods

    Thai flood victims use concrete blocks that were to be used in the construction of an elevated railway as temporary shelters in a flooded neighbourhood on the outskirts of Bangkok on 10 November, 2011. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri/PA Images)
  • Tornado in Joplin, Missouri

    Emergency personnel walk through a neighbourhood severely damaged by a tornado near the Joplin Regional Medical Center in Joplin on 22 May, 2011. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein/PA Images)
  • Tornado in Joplin, Missouri

    A man carries a young girl who was rescued after being trapped with her mother in their home after a tornado hit Joplin on 22 May, 2011. (AP Photo/Mike Gullett/PA Images)
  • Tornado in Joplin, Missouri

    A residential neighbourhood in Joplin, Missouri, on 23 May, 2011 after it was levelled by a tornado that destroyed nearly 30 per cent of the town and cut a six-mile path through the city. (AP Photo/Tulsa World, Adam Wisneski/PA Images)
  • Earthquake in Turkey

    Turkish rescuers pulled a 13-year-old boy alive from the rubble of a collapsed building 108 hours after a major earthquake hit eastern Turkey in October, 2011. (AP Photo/PA Images)
  • Earthquake in Turkey

    Rescue workers remove rubble at the site of a collapsed building, three days after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake jolted the area in Ercis, eastern Turkey, on 26 October, 2011. (The Yomiuri Shimbun/AP Photo/PA Images)
  • Earthquake in Turkey

    A two-week-old baby is rescued from under the debris of a collapsed building on 25 October following the 7.2-mag earthquake in eastern Turkey. Her mother also survived the quake. Over 600 people were killed. (AP/PA Images)
  • East Africa Drought

    Two-year-old Aden Salaad looks up at his mother as she bathes him in a tub at a Doctors Without Borders hospital where Aden received treatment for malnutrition outside Dadaab, Kenya on 11 July, 2011. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell/PA Images)
  • East Africa Drought

    The shrouded body of 12-month-old Liin Muhumed Surow lays before burial at UNHCR's Ifo Extention camp outside Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, 100 km from the Somali border on 6 August, 2011. Liin died of malnutrition 25 days after reaching the camp, her father Mumumed said. The drought and famine in the horn of Africa killed more than 29,000 children under the age of 5 in 90 days in southern Somalia alone over the summer, according to US estimates. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay/PA Images)
  • East Africa Drought

    A Somali family relocates to the UNHCR's Dadaab camps in eastern Kenya on 5 August, 2011. The three camps, collectively the biggest in the world, had filled up with over 350,000 people by June 2011. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay/PA Images)
  • Tropical Storm Washi

    An aerial photo showing the damage caused by devastating floods over Iligan City on 19 December, 2011, two days day after Typhoon Washi wrought havoc in the city. (AFP PHOTO/POOL/RICHEL UMEL/PA Images)
  • Tropical Storm Washi

    Philippine Navy personnel lift coffins that will be shipped with drinking water, clothes and other relief goods to flood-stricken Cagayan De Oro and Iligan cities, Philippines on 20 December, 2011. Washi was one of the worst disasters to strike in decades. Morgues and funeral homes struggled to cope with the number of dead, running out of coffins and body bags. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila/PA Images)
  • Tropical Storm Washi

    Cristio Tingson talks on his mobile phone as workers search for victims at his buried house on 18 December, 2011 at Iligan city in southern Philippines. Tropical Storm Washi devastated the region with flash floods that killed 1,000 people as they slept and turned two coastal cities into a muddy wasteland filled with overturned cars and uprooted trees. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez/PA Images)
  • Philippines

    A Filipino boy rides on board an improvised float at flood-struck Calumpit town, Bulacan province, north of Manila on5 October. Flooding from back-to-back typhoons has affected more than half a million people in northern Philippines. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila/PA Images)
  • Philippines

    Residents slowly rebuild homes which were wiped out by strong currents from recent typhoons along a coastal village in Tangos, Navotas city, north of Manila, Philippines on 3 October, 2011. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila/PA Images)
  • Typhoon Nesat

    A man hangs on to what remains of a house that was built on stilts as he tries to recover belongings after Typhoon Nesat wiped out most of his neighbours' homes along a coastal village north of Manila on 28 September. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila/PA Images)
  • Typhoon Nesat

    A woman walks past an oil tanker on 28 Sepember which was washed ashore by Typhoon Nesat overnight that also destroyed an undetermined number of shanties and forced the evacuation of thousands of residents. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez/PA Images)
  • Typhoon Talas

    A Japanese team searches for missing people in an area hit by a mudslide triggered by Typhoon Talas in Nachikatsuura, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan on 5 September, 2011. (Kyodo/PA Images)
  • Typhoon Talas

    Photo taken from a Kyodo News helicopter on 5 September showing a bridge over the Kumano River in Totsukawa, Nara Prefecture, Japan after it was severed in flooding caused by Typhoon Talas. (Kyodo/PA Images)
  • Arizona wildfires

    Intense wildfires burn on the horizon in Arizona in June, 2011. Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes as the fires spread eastwards into Texas. (Rob Schumacher/AP/PA Images)
  • Texas Wildfires

    Laura Clements surveys her family's destroyed home in Bastrop, Texas in early September 2011. Over 1,000 homes were destroyed by the wildfires. (AP Photo/Eric Gay/PA Images)
  • Texas Wildfires

    Aerial image taken on 7 September showing some of the hundreds of homes destroyed by wildfires in Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay/PA Images)
  • Hurricane Irene

    No traffic on New York's Brooklyn Bridge as Hurricane Irene continued its assault on the eastern US seaboard on 27 August. Philadelphia and New York City-area authorities readied a massive shutdown of trains and airports, with 2m people warned to move out of the storm's projected path. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer/PA Images)
  • Hurricane Irene

    Concerned fisherman Denis Hromin checks on North Carolina's Avalon Fishing Pier after it was battered by wind and rains from Hurricane Irene in August. The storm caused dozens of deaths as it travelled through the Caribbean and along the eastern US coast. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak/PA Images)
  • Cyclone Yasi

    NASA satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Yasi approaching Queensland, Australia on 2 February, 2011. (AP Photo/NASA - Jeff Schmaltz/PA Images)
  • Australia Floods

    A man is rescued by emergency workers after he was stranded clinging to a tree on a flooded street in Toowoomba, Australia, during a flash flood in January 2011. (AP Photo/ABC/PA Images)
  • Australia Floods

    Mud-caked debris is piled in front of a house at Condamine, Australia, after floodwater washed away or ruined hundreds of homes in January 2011. (AP Photo/Dean Saffron/PA Images)
  • Chile Volcano

    Lightning strikes over the Puyehue volcano, Chile, on 6 June, 2011. About 3,500 people in the nearby area were evacuated. The ash caused flight disruptions in South America and Australia. (AP Photo/Francisco Negroni, AgenciaUno/PA Images)
  • Chile Volcano

  • Chile Volcano

    A police officer holds a volcanic rock picked from the overflowed river Nilahue after the eruption of the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano in Los Venados, Chile on 9 June, 2011. (AP Photo/Roberto Candia/PA Images)
  • Ireland's floods

    The Camac River rises to the top of the bridge on Tower Terrace in Dublin on 24 October after one month's worth of rain fell in one evening. (Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland)
  • Ireland's floods

    Martin Murphy surveys the damage to his house in Kilmainham in Dublin after the Camac River burst its banks and flooded during severe rain on 24 October. Two people lost their lives in the flooding - nurse Celia de Jesus and Garda Ciarán Jones. (Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland)

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