Early Friday morning, a strong earthquake struck the Aegean Sea between the Greek island of Kos and the Turkish coastal town Bodrum. At least two vacationers, one from Turkey and the other from Sweden, were killed in the old town of Kos when a popular tourist bar, the White Corner Club, collapsed. At least five other people were seriously injured, and there were some 70 minor injuries and significant flooding reported in Bodrum. Greek officials said the earthquake was a magnitude 6.5, with the epicenter 6 miles deep, 10 miles east-northeast of Kos, and 6 miles south of Bodrum. The U.S. Geological Survey said it was a 6.7-magnitude temblor.
"There was banging, there was shaking, the light was swinging, banging on the ceiling, crockery falling out of the cupboards, and pans were making noise," Christopher Hackland, a Scottish diving instructor, told The Associated Press. Tens of thousands of vacationers spent the rest of the night outside, sleeping on beach sunbeds or wherever else they could find a resting spot. Along with the tourist bar, the ferry terminal, several churches, a 14th century castle, and an old mosque were also damaged in the quake. You can see some of Hackland's raw video of the damage in the AP clip below. Peter Weber
In the Tonto National Forest north of Phoenix, nine people were killed Saturday afternoon when a flash flood swept through a swimming hole where a family was having a gathering, officials said Sunday.
The flash flood hit the Cold Springs Swimming Hole at around 3:19 p.m. local time, and 14 people were washed away. A search and rescue team was able to rescue four people on Saturday; on Sunday, the bodies of a 2-year-old girl and another person were found. Police say they are still searching for one missing person, a 27-year-old man.
The Payson Fire Department said there have been several forest fires recently in the area, and that is likely why so much debris washed down into the swimming hole. "Normally it's just a trickle of a creek, but during the monsoon season it can go from a foot deep to 10 feet deep in a matter of minutes," Gila County Sheriff's Det. David Hornung told NBC News. Catherine Garcia
An extreme thunderstorm system stretching across the South spawned a tornado responsible for the deaths Sunday morning of a 38-year-old woman and her 3-year-old daughter in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.
The St. Martin Parish's sheriff's office said a tornado flipped over Francine Gotch's trailer, killing her and her daughter, Neville Alexander. A second tornado was confirmed Sunday afternoon, southeast of Monroe. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Prediction Center issued a "high risk" warning on Sunday, and the National Weather Service announced a "particularly dangerous situation" tornado watch from east Texas into west-central Mississippi.
Louisiana, Mississippi, and a thin sliver of Texas are bracing for tornadoes, massive hail, and high winds, and forecasters predict the system will move east through Monday. "We've got a large territory that these storms are going to be moving across," Danielle Banks, a meteorologist at The Weather Channel, told NBC News. "As we go through the day on Monday, into the heart of the afternoon, those storms are going to be sweeping through states like Georgia and Florida and over into South Carolina and North Carolina." Catherine Garcia
Tropical Cyclone Debbie roared across northeast Australia on Tuesday, and was classified as a category four when it made landfall in Airlie Beach.
"It's very noisy," witness Jan Clifford in Airlie Beach told Reuters. "Screaming, howling wind, sounds like a freight train." In addition to strong winds and gusts that have reached more than 160 mph, the rain is coming down hard, and there are reports of damage to homes. Thousands of people are also without power. So far, no one has been reported injured. The cyclone is moving slowly, and forecasters say conditions could stay the same for 24 hours. Catherine Garcia
When incredibly hot lava hits extremely cold snow, it can result in a phreatomagmatic eruption, sending ash, steam, and rocks exploding into the air. On Thursday, this rare event took place at Italy's Mount Etna, sending onlookers running for safety.
At least 10 people were injured by flying debris, including tourists, journalists, and a scientist. A BBC News crew was filming Europe's most active volcano when it spewed out lava and and steam that reached temperatures of more than 1,800 degrees, and journalist Rebecca Morelle wrote on Twitter that a "volcanologist said [it was] the most dangerous incident experience in his 30 years," adding, "Running down a mountain pelted by rocks, dodging burning boulders and boiling steam — not an experience I ever, ever want to repeat." Morelle also tweeted a photo of her colleague Rachel Price's jacket, which had a "massive hole" in it after rock burnt through it. Catherine Garcia
On Thursday, rescue crews said they have now accounted for everyone who was staying at the Hotel Rigopiano in central Italy, a week after it was buried by at least 60,000 tons of snow, rock, and trees in an avalanche. The final death toll is 29, with nine survivors who were pulled out from the wreckage early on, including all four children at the hotel. Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Italy will conduct a criminal investigation to see if anyone is culpable for initially dismissing calls for help as a prank or other missteps that led to the disaster, but told lawmakers that the avalanche was due to an unpredictable confluence of heavy snowstorm and four powerful earthquakes in the region. Peter Weber
On Wednesday evening, an avalanche likely triggered by earthquakes buried the Hotel Rigopiano in the central Italian town of Farindola, in the Gran Sasso mountains in Abruzzo. There were at least 20 guests and seven staff members in the hotel, according to rescuers and local officials, and Antonio Crocetta, the head of a mountain rescue team, told Italian media "there are many deaths," though no deaths have yet been confirmed. Because of days of snow that blanketed Abruzzo, Lazio, and Le Marche, rescue crews on skis did not reach the hotel until about 4 a.m. Thursday. Helicopters arrived with more personnel after dawn.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) January 19, 2017
Four people were killed Monday evening when a tree fell on their mobile home in Rehobeth, Alabama, and a man was found drowned near his car in Mossy Head, Florida, as severe weather rolled through the South. A line of severe thunderstorms also caused at least two suspected tornadoes in Mississippi, and meteorologists are warning about continued threat of strong winds, hail, and flash flooding in southern Alabama, southwest Georgia, and the Florida Panhandle early Tuesday.
Wind damage was also reported between eastern Texas and Mississippi, including a hard-hit Walmart in Marksville, Louisiana, where customers were rained down upon by shattered skylights. A fireworks stand in the parking lot was also blown 30-40 yards away and mangled, Marksville Fire Chief Jerry Bordelon told The Associated Press, but when the fire department told shoppers to leave, some resisted. "Believe it or not, we had some people in there who were still trying to shop," he said. You can see some footage from the accident in Alabama below. Peter Weber