This Week in Pictures: Feb. 28-Mar. 6

  • Afghan survivors of an avalanche run to get relief goods distributed by an Afghan army helicopter in the Paryan district of Panjshir province, north of Kabul on March 1, 2015. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Feb. 28 pledged to set up a relief fund for the victims of avalanches that claimed over 280 lives, and called for international help with the relief effort.
  • A boy with his turban daubed in colours celebrates “Lathmar Holi” at Nandgaon, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Feb. 28, 2015. In a Holi tradition unique to Nandgaon and Barsana villages, men sing provocative songs to gain the attention of women, who then “beat” them with bamboo sticks called “lathis.” Holi, also known as the Festival of Colours, heralds the beginning of spring and is celebrated all over India.
  • After heavy snow fell across the north of Afghanistan, many mountainous areas, particularly the Panjshir Valley, suffered devastating landslides. Two days after the landslides, Afghan Security Forces equipped with helicopters and heavy machinery delivered aid to villages like the one pictured here deep in the valley that had been cut off by dozens of avalanches that severed the only road that runs through the valley, Feb. 28, 2015.
  • Nepalese residents watch from a window during mass-demonstrations by the 30-party alliance led by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in Kathmandu on Feb. 28, 2015. Nepalese police fired teargas and water cannons at thousands of opposition supporters who converged on the capital to protest controversial plans to vote on a disputed new national constitution.
  • Young men practice parkour on a public beach in La Guaira, Venezuela, March 1, 2015. This week marks the second anniversary of Hugo Chavez’s death. 
  • People watch South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s speech on small screens fitted in their seats during a ceremony celebrating the 96th anniversary of the Independence Movement Day in Seoul, March 1, 2015. This year commemorates the 96th year of the declaration of the nation’s independence from Japanese colonization on March 1, 1919.
  • A disaster management officer evacuates local residents as firefighters battle to extinguish a huge fire on a plastic goods factory in Calcutta, India, late March 1, 2015. At least hundred exhausted locals being evacuated between dense smoke.
  • Shi’ite fighters fire a rocket during clashes with Islamic State militants in Salahuddin province, March 1, 2015. Thousands of Iraqi soldiers and Shi’ite militiamen sought to seal off Islamic State fighters in Tikrit and nearby towns on Tuesday, the second day of Iraq’s biggest offensive yet against a stronghold of the Sunni militants.
  • Hellen Akello, 38, a victim of the Lira district attacks by members of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) militia movement, displays her injuries during a visit by International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in northern Uganda, March 1, 2015.
  • Afghan survivors of an avalanche walk in the Abdullah Khil village of the Dara district of Panjshir province, March 1, 2015. More than 180 people have been killed in north Afghanistan in some of the worst avalanches there for 30 years, officials said on Thursday, with heavy snow set to last for two more days after an unusually dry winter led to fears of drought.
  • Rebel fighters of ‘Al-Sultan Murad’ brigade use their mobile phones inside a room near the frontline in Handarat area, north of Aleppo, March 1, 2015.
  • An elderly woman approaches a destroyed bridge on the road to the airport, the scene of heavy fighting, on her way to retrieve belongings from her home in Donetsk, Ukraine, March 1, 2015. The piecemeal pullback of heavy weapons Friday from the line separating government and rebel forces in Ukraine has boosted the prospects for peace, although both sides are warning of their readiness to resume fighting if necessary.
  • Performers spray molten iron against a concrete wall to celebrate the upcoming Lantern Festival in Nuanquan town of Yuxian County, Hebei province, March 1, 2015. For over 300 years, the village has carried out the tradition of spraying molten iron at 2,372 degrees Fahrenheit against a cold concrete wall to form spark-like fireworks during the Chinese New Year celebration, local media reported. The Lantern Festival or Yuan Xiao Jie is a Chinese festival that is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar year in the Chinese calendar.
  • A harbor light is covered by snow and ice on the Lake Michigan at 31st Street Harbor, March 1, 2015, in Chicago. After one of the coldest, snowiest Februarys on record, March is expected to open with a continuation of below-normal temperatures.
  • Kurdish Yazidis, relatives of a Peshmerga fighter killed in a suicide attack in Sinjar province, mourn with another relative, also member of the Peshmerga, before the burial ceremony at Mazar Sharaf Eldin, a sacred and cemetery area for the Yazidi minority, north of Sinjar, March 2, 2015. A number of Peshmerga were killed and others injured after two suicide car bombs attacks targeted a building the Peshmerga were using for fighting, according to Peshmerga officials.
  • Iraqi security forces and Shi’ite fighters clash with Islamic State militants in Salahuddin province, March 2, 2015. Iraq’s armed forces, backed by Shi’ite militia, attacked Islamic State strongholds north of Baghdad on Monday as they launched an offensive to retake the city of Tikrit and the surrounding Sunni Muslim province of Salahuddin.
  • A relative of a Peshmerga fighter killed in a suicide attack in Sinjar province, mourns after a burial ceremony at Mazar Sharaf Eldin, a sacred and a cemetery area for the Yazidi minority, north of Sinjar, March 2, 2015. A number of Peshmerga were killed and others injured after two suicide car bombs attacks targeted a building the Peshmerga were using for fighting, according to Peshmerga officials.
  • A man runs on the beach along Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York, March 2, 2015.
  • Svetlana Perevalkina cries while bringing the body of her dead son, Denis Perevalkin, home on March 2, 2015 on the outskirts of Debaltseve, Ukraine. According to Perevalkina her son had been in prison, but as the conflict drew near prisoners were released and allowed to escape. Her son was killed while approaching a checkpoint and the body was left for over two weeks before she and her husband were able to collect the body. In a new report the United Nations announced over 6,000 people have been killed since the armed conflict started last April.
  • A resident walks from a home with an approaching blaze in Noorhoek Manor retirement home in Noordhoek, Cape Town, South Africa, March 2, 2015. A fire fanned by gale force south easterly winds has raged across the south peninsula of Cape Town from Muizenberg to Hout Bay. Residents in some areas were forced to evacuate. Rescue personel continue to battle the blaze.
  • Louis Carlos de Sousa (L) looks on as Tania Gonzalves cools herself off with water from the one running water pipe that serves dozens of residents in a section of the Complexo da Mare ‘favela’ complex, one of the largest ‘favela’ complexes in Rio, on March 2, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Egyptian plainclothes policemen clear the site of a bomb blast in front of the Egyptian High Court in Cairo, Egypt, March 2, 2015. Egyptian state TV says a midday bomb blast in downtown Cairo wounded several people. Egypt has seen a series of attacks mainly targeting security forces since the military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the summer of 2013. The attacks have raised fears ahead of an economic conference later this month aimed at attracting foreign investment.
  • In this photo taken Monday, March 2, 2015, a helicopter water bombs fire in the Tokai Forest near Cape Town, South Africa. A wildfire continues to burn across the city’s southern peninsula, March 3, 2015 after breaking out Sunday with firefighting re-enforcements being flown in to assist with battling the blaze.
  • A fire fighters, right, battle a fire with others, near the town of Hout Bay, South Africa, March 2, 2015. South African firefighters say they are battling to control a wildfire that has burned down five homes in Cape Town’s southern peninsula. Spokeswoman Liezl Moodie said Monday that nearly 150 firefighters, along with park volunteers, have combated the blaze since early Monday.
  • In this picture taken on March 3, 2015, Vera Pavliy, 76 year-old, dressed in a worn-out sheepskin coat, cries outside a bank in the town of Kurakhove, Ukraine, just a few miles away from the area controlled by Russia-backed rebels.
  • A woman walks in a sand storm near Lake Chad, in Chad, March 3, 2015. Chadian troops have seized a strategically located northeast Nigerian town from Boko Haram, but not before the defeated Islamic extremists killed hundreds of civilians, Chad’s military said. The Chadian forces regained control Monday of Dikwa, a town occupied by the militants for weeks, said Chad’s military spokesman Col. Azem Bermandoua.
  • A view of the volcano Villarrica erupting on March 3, 2015 at Villarrica, 750km south Santiago de Chile in Chile. Over 4,000 people have been evacuated due to the risk of floods as snow melts due to the volcano’s eruption.
  • Fog begins to lift off farmland, March 3, 2015, near Carlinville, Ill.
  • A helicopter drops water on a fire above Tokai Forest near, Cape Town, South Africa, March 3, 2015. A wildfire continues to burn across the city’s southern peninsula after breaking out Sunday with firefighting re-enforcements being flown in to assist with battling the blaze.
  • A plainclothes soldier watches the entrance to a curtained-off area during the the opening session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 3, 2015. The more than 2,000 members of China’s top legislative advisory body convened their annual meeting Tuesday, kicking off a political high season that will continue with the opening of the national congress later in the week.
  • A general view of the volcano Villarrica erupting near Villarrica, some 750 kilometers south of Santiago de Chile, in Chile, March 3, 2015. More than 4,000 people have been evacuated due to the risk of floods from snow melting on the volcano’s slopes following the eruption.
  • A Hindu widow lies on a sludgy ground filled with a mixture of colored powder, water and flower petals during celebrations to mark Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, at the Meera Sahabhagini Widow Ashram in Vrindavan, India, March 3, 2015. After their husband’s deaths many of the women in the ashrams have been banished by their families, for supposedly bringing bad luck, while some move voluntarily to and around the town where devotees believe Lord Krishna was born.
  • Coal miners prepare to be lowered into Holodnaya Balka mine on March 3, 2015 in Makeevka, Ukraine. While Ukraine’s economy has significantly shrunk in the past year due to the ongoing conflict between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian rebels, many coal mines have continued to operate.
  • A girl receives polio vaccine drops at a government children’s hospital in Peshawar, March 3, 2015. Pakistan authorities have arrested hundreds of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children against polio, officials said Tuesday, as community opposition and Taliban threats block efforts to eradicate the crippling disease in one of its last strongholds. (REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz)
  • A quality control specialist collects samples of coal Holodnaya Balka mine on March 3, 2015 in Makeevka, Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian coal miners wait in a room before going underground to help search for bodies of colleagues and clear up debris following an explosion at the Zasyadko mine in Donetsk, Ukraine, March 4, 2015. An explosion ripped through a coal mine before dawn Wednesday in war-torn eastern Ukraine, killing at least one miner and trapping more than 30 others underground, rebel and government officials said. One injured miner reported seeing five bodies.
  • A mechanic holds a grease rag in his hand in his shop in Petare, Venezuela, March 4, 2015.
  • A widow throws flower petals as she, along with others, take part in the Holi celebrations organised by a non-governmental organisation Sulabh International at a widows’ ashram at Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, March 4, 2015.
  • In this aerial photo, a groundskeeper works near a green and sand trap at Elizabeth Manor Golf and Country Club in Portsmouth, Va., March 4, 2015, as intricate patterns form in the melting ice of the Elizabeth River.
  • Passengers walk away from a Turkish Airlines plane after it skidded off the runway while landing at Kathmandu airport in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu on March 4, 2015. Aviation officials said no one on board was injured, although one witness described how terrified passengers leapt from their seats as the cabin filled with smoke after the plane skidded to a halt.
  • The view of the Avila mountains from a home in Petare, Venezuela, March 4, 2015. This week marks the two-year anniversary of Hugo Chavez’s death.
  • Shi'ite fighters launch a rocket towards Islamic State militants during heavy fighting in Salahuddin province, March 4, 2015. Islamic State militants have set fire to oil wells in the Ajil field east of the city of Tikrit to try to hinder aerial attacks aimed at driving them from the oilfield, a witness and military source said. A police source in Salahuddin province, where Tikrit is located, said an eight-vehicle convoy of Islamic State insurgents attacked Iraqi forces at dawn on Thursday in al-Muaibidi area east of Alam.
  • Thai Buddhist monks pray and gather at Wat Dhammakaya temple in Pathum Thani province to participate in Makha Bucha Day ceremonies, March 4, 2015. Makha Bucha, a religious holiday that marks the anniversary of Lord Buddha’s mass sermon to the first 1,250 newly ordained monks 2,558 years ago.
  • Eighty two year old resident Fran Collings sits amongst the remains of her destroyed home in Tokai, Cape Town, South Africa, March 4, 2015. A fire fanned by gale force south easterly winds started four days ago and has destroyed over 3000 hectares of land and some homes around the Cape Town south peninsula from Muizenberg to Hout Bay. Residents in some areas were forced to evacuate.
  • A Sri Lankan Buddhist devotee prays offering Lotus flowers at a temple on full moon day in Kelaniya, out skirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, March 5, 2015. Buddhists constitute the majority of this South Asian Island nationÕs population and take part in religious observances on full moon days as a custom.
  • A male Afghan women's rights activist poses for pictures in a burqa to show solidarity to Afghan women ahead of International Women's Day in Kabul, March 5, 2015. A group of Afghan men marched through the capital, Kabul, on Thursday to draw attention to women's rights by donning head-to-toe burqas that for many people worldwide have come to symbolize the suppression of women.
  • Delta flight 1086 is seen after it slid off the runway upon landing at New York's LaGuardia Airport, March 5, 2015. The Delta Air Lines jetliner landing during a snowstorm at New York's LaGuardia Airport on Thursday slid off the runway and struck a fence before coming to rest at the edge of Flushing Bay, but there were no serious injuries.
  • Protestors gather outside a police facility called Homan Square, demanding an investigation into a media report denied by police that the site functions as an off-the-books interrogation compound, in Chicago, Illinois, March 5, 2015.  British newspaper The Guardian said in a report the Chicago Police Department holds suspects and witnesses for long periods of time at a former warehouse, without giving them access to attorneys or phone calls to family and without recording their detention.
  • People perform a fire dragon dance in the shower of molten iron spewing firework-like sparks to celebrate the Lantern Festival, in Meizhou, Guangdong province, March 5, 2015. The Lantern Festival or Yuan Xiao Jie is a Chinese festival that is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar year in the Chinese calendar. The festival falls on March 5 this year.
  • The hounds of the Atherstone Hunt look out from a horse box as they eagerly wait for their master to go out on a hunt on March 5, 2015 in Bosworth, England. The hunt is celebrating its bicentenary this year and today's commemorative hunt started from Bosworth.
  • An Ukrainian coal miner climbs in the back of  a truck loaded with 6 bodies of colleagues killed in an explosion yesterday before dawn at more than 3,200 feet underground at the Zasyadko mine, in Donetsk, Ukraine, March 5, 2015. Officials in a separatist rebel-held city in east Ukraine say the death toll from an accidental explosion at a coal mine has risen to 32, while one person still remains unaccounted for.
  • Horses race in the Greenlane Cup HCP Trot during the New Zealand Trotting Cup at Alexandra Park on March 6, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand.
  • The Smithsonian Institution Building, known as The Castle, is visible behind Mia Molnar, 6, of Tampa, Fla., who plays in the snow on the National Mall in Washington, March 5, 2015. The U.S. federal government said its offices in the Washington area will be closed Thursday because of a new round of winter weather expected in the region.



Heavy snowfall made headlines across the world, even in Afghanistan, where landslides were triggered in the country’s mountainous regions. In New York City, an airplane skidded off the runway at LaGuardia Airport, and winter weather battered southern states including Kentucky and Tennessee.

Indians celebrated Holi, the annual festival of colors, while the eruption of the volcano Villarrica in Chile lit up the night sky. 

Fighting continued in Ukraine, where an explosion at the Zasyadko mine in Donetsk killed at least 33 miners.

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