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Disasters Photos

Photos of disasters from around the globe are a substantial part of epa's breaking news coverage. Our photographers are on the spot following earthquakes, floods, typhoons, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, or accidents. Furthermore, we provide images of man-made disasters, pollution, and emergency exercises or mining accidents, for example the tragic accident that occurred in Chile where 33 miners were buried for 70 days.


Accidents Photos

Accidents photos show the wide array of accidents from the sites of building collapses, such as factories, supermarkets, stadiums or tunnels, as well as car and plane and helicopter crashes and accidents at sea. Our selection of accidents photos shows also coverage of the rescue and clean-up operations, funerals of the victims, commemoration ceremonies, and wreath laying.

Disaster Photos

epa offers a vast array of disaster photos from all over the world. Apart from the more obvious explosions, landslides, avalanches, and typhoon images, epa's archive of content also provides a more diverse offering. The shipwrecked refugees in Lampedusa, the Rana Plaza tragedy in Dhaka, Hurricane Sandy, the roof collapse of a supermarket building in Riga, as well as the 50th anniversary of the mining accident in Lengede are just a small selection of the broad range of images provided on this topic.


Drought Photos

Droughts photos show the effects of longer periods of deficiency in water supply on geographical regions. Droughts have a strong impact on the eco system with its flora and fauna in general; and in particular on the people in their daily life and in their socio-economic reproduction. Shortage of water for drinking and personal hygiene can become a serious problem. The effects on agriculture and fishery are often drastic. epa offers images of deserted areas, arid landscapes and fields, perished livestock and wild animals, the endeavours of farmers to rescue their crops and the effect on the population.

Earthquake Photos

Earthquake photos show the results of a sudden release of energy in the earth’s crust and its often catastrophic impact on a city or region and the people living there. epa provides extensive coverage of earthquakes around the world in the last two decades. This includes the 2011 seismic shock that hit Haiti leaving over 300.000 people dead, the 8.0 magnitude disaster in the Sichuan province in China in 2008 and photos of the great 9.0 earthquake that occurred off the west coast of northern Sumatra that resulted in a tsunami over the entire Indian Ocean bringing death and destruction to many of countries at its shores.


Emergency Planning Photos

Emergency planning photos show scenes of trainings, exercises and mock rescue operations by the military, police, fire fighters and ambulance teams on land, on water and in the air. epa offers a rich variety of images from all over the world of preparations and drills to prevent or cope with accidents, disasters or acts of terror or war.

Famine Photos

Famine photos show a continuing problem with hundreds of millions of people suffering that has mostly prevalent in the Sub-Saharan African countries over the last decades. epa depicts famine images mainly from Somalia, Sudan and Malawi that portray the misery of malnutritioned populations fleeing their homes and finding refuge in camps in their own or neighbouring countries. The coverage has special focus on these camps, international food-aid operations and medical help, the people trying to come to terms with their situation.


Fire Photos

Fire - one of the classic elements giving heat and light. But when out of control fire causes death and destruction. epa provides a range of fire photos covering forest and bush fires, factories and other building in flames as well as efforts of fire-fighters and rescue teams to save people and areas. Among the most dramatic fire disasters are the big wild fires in the in USA (2007 and 2013), in Russia (2010) and Australia (2009) and fires in Bangladesh garment factories (2006 to 2013).

Flood Photos

With water covering over 70 percent of the earth's surface, floods are recurring but fortunately mostly foreseeable catastrophic events that can nevertheless have devastating impact on populations and infrastructures of the affected areas. epa flood photos show high profile coverage not only from major floods in South East Asia, China, Pakistan and North America but also from a large number of high-tide occurrences inside Europe and all over the world. There is great portfolio of images showing the aftermath of floods, with general and aerial views of cities and other areas, rescue operations and the situation of the people in need of help and shelter.


Meteorological Disaster Photos

Images of the effects of blizzards, tornados, hurricanes, typhoons and a number of other phenomena related to extreme weather conditions can be found under meteorological disaster photos. Among the more prominent coverage of meteorological disasters are the typhoon Haiyan and its aftermath on the Philippines (2013), Hurricane Sandy (2012), the floods resulting from an earthquake and a tsunami in Japan (2011), and certainly Hurricane Katrina (2005) - one of the deadliest and most destructive storms of the last decades.

Nuclear Accident Photos

With over 400 nuclear power plants in 30 countries, the threat of nuclear and radiation accidents has been an issue of permanent public, scientific, economic and political debate since the early years after the Second World War. Nuclear accident photos show epa's high profile coverage of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011 initiated by a tsunami off the Pacific coast. Furthermore, epa keeps a sharp eye on the yearly commemorative events around the 1986 Chernobyl disaster that has remained in collective consciousness ever since.

Please see also these photo essays: Chernobyl - 25 Years On, Great East Japan Earthquake - One Year After the Disaster, Iitate village After the Great East Japan Earthquake, Daily Life After the Great East Japan Earthquake, and Makoto Endo, Tsunami Survivor.


Pollution Photos

Pollution is the major side effect of industrial nations, in particular pollution of the air, soil and water as well as noise, littering and sometime radioactivity. epa covers these issues providing pollution photos of oil spills and waste in the oceans, fog and smog in the cities, but also on the people affected and on counter-measures in form of technological innovations and political and environmental activism.

Transport Accident Photos

Transport accident photos are images taken at the scenes of accidents on roads, rails and waters as well as on sites of plane crashes. They show destruction, victims and the efforts of rescuers, firefighters and medical emergency teams. Among the more well-known incidents, epa offers extensive coverage of the of the grounding and partial sinking of the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia in 2012 and the derailing of a Spanish high-speed train in Santiago de Compostela in 2013.


Volcanic Eruption Photos

Volcanos belong to the earth’s natural wonders. epa’s volcanic eruption photos portray the dangers but also the beauty of volcanic activity all over the world . Most of the coverage was produced in South America, Hawaii and South East Asia, but also in Italy and on Iceland with its now infamous Eyjafjallajokull in 2010.