Special Report

Before and After Photos of Some of the World's Most Disastrous Weather Events


24/7 Wall St. consulted lists of cataclysmic weather events published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information, the United Nations Weather Agency, the Brookings Institution, and the Australian Government’s Geoscience Australia site, and consulted reportage from The Guardian, the BBC, PBS, Weather.com, and Dynamic MapReport to establish a shortlist of the world’s most catastrophic 21st-century hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes, floods, droughts, and wildfires.

Because the extent of a weather event’s destructive powers can be expressed in various ways — including area affected, value of property destroyed, and of course human injury and loss of life — it is difficult to identify the very worst of all these terrible disasters. We used editorial discretion to pick, from among the most obviously destructive events, examples representing many parts of the country and the world, including several that have seriously impacted the United States in recent memory.

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