Devastating crises have spread across the world in rapid succession, fueling climate change fears.
Climate disasters are becoming increasingly common, with at least five unexpected natural events making headlines in the past month.
Since the United Nations confirmed in August that the window to roll back climate change was closing, the increasing number of natural disasters has only underscored the pressing issue.
Here is a list of the most recent disasters around the world.
1. Australia earthquake
The Melbourne earthquake on September 22 stunned Australia, a country not known for its earthquakes.
The magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck at a depth of 6.5 miles, meaning buildings were damaged around the city. Fortunately there were no reports of deaths or serious injuries.
Tremors of the earthquake were felt in southeast Australia as well as its neighboring states of South Australia and New South Wales.
There were also two aftershocks, one of magnitude 4.0 and the other of 3.1.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said earthquakes in the country were unusual and could therefore be a “very, very disturbing event”.
The country is located at the center of one of Earth’s tectonic plates, not on the edge, which means that it typically suffers such a disaster only once a decade.
The last earthquake occurred in 2016.
Victoria’s state emergency service has urged people to avoid driving and expect aftershocks.
2. Eruption of the volcano of La Palma
On 19 September a small earthquake was preceded by a major eruption from Mount Cumbre Vieja, a volcano on the Spanish Canary island of La Palma.
Tides of lava up to six meters high have been traveling across the island and have now consumed 154 hectares (380.5 acres) of local land.
So far over a hundred houses have been destroyed, while more than 6,000 people have been evacuated.
The volcano hasn’t erupted in 50 years, although the lava flow is slower than experts predicted.
However, if it reaches the Atlantic Ocean, there could be more explosions, accompanied by clouds of toxic gas.
Volcanic activity may make groundwater unfit for drinking throughout the island, while acid rain may soon occur.
A new mouth for a volcano about 900 meters in size also opened on Monday following a magnitude 3.8 earthquake.
No casualties or injuries have been reported so far and a two nautical mile radius of sea has been sealed around the area to prevent any damage.
One farmer told The Guardian: “The volcano may not kill us outright, but it will bankrupt a lot of us.”
It is not clear how long the eruption will last.
3. Hurricane Ida
Hurricane Ida left behind a trail of devastation as it passed through North America on August 29.
It wiped out power grids in Louisiana and Mississippi, leaving nearly half a million people without water because water treatment plants were affected by flooding.
At least 26 people died in the storm that hit the south.
Ida then turned to the country and began raining record-breaking 3.1 inches per hour in New York City by September 2.
At least 50 more people died in New York and New Jersey as floods left people trapped in the city’s basements.
Emergency warnings were issued for the first time across New York as residents were instructed to “get down to higher ground” in a “life-threatening situation”.
In the aftermath of Ida, US President Joe Biden declared that the “threat” of the climate crisis was now here.
He added: “It’s not getting any better. The question is, can it get worse. We can stop it from getting worse.”
4. Wildfires of North America
Smoke from wildfires in North America reached Europe on 22 August and was even seen crossing the Atlantic Ocean in Spain and Portugal.
Wildfires in California triggered a cluster of polluting clouds that traveled nearly 5,000 miles to mainland Europe.
The Dixie fire – the largest fire ever recorded in California – was in full flux at the time.
The fire has now been brought under control, more than two months after it began in July, but it has consumed nearly one million acres of land in that period.
While the US has a history of wildfires, the series of fires meant resources were stretched.
The National Interagency Fire Center revealed on 14 September that 44,647 fires had covered the country.
In September President Biden said: “We can’t ignore the reality that these wildfires are being supercharged by climate change. It’s not about red or blue states. It’s about fire. Just fire.” .
5. Haiti Earthquakes and Floods
A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on 14 August, which was hit by flash floods and landslides only two days later.
At least 2,200 people are reported to have died in the quake while more are missing.
About 10,000 people were injured in the earthquake and subsequent tropical storm called Grace.
Locals in dire need of medical, food and sanitation support were called in for relief operations and the US military.
About 53,000 homes were completely destroyed while another 77,000 were damaged.
Haiti is a hotspot for natural disasters, which was hit by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and the 2010 earthquake that killed 200,000 people.