This Week in Pictures: Aug. 20-26

  • A statue of the Virgin Mary is seen partially submerged in flood water as it rains in Sorrento, La. on Aug. 20, 2016.
  • Qiu Bo of China competes in the Men’s 10m Platform Final on Aug. 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Two young Syrian boys watch the sunset overlooking the Pigeon Rocks in Beirut’s Raouche district on Aug. 20, 2016.
  • A woman holding a Brazilian flag poses for a picture under palm trees at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Aug. 20, 2016.
  • Misa Kuranaga of Japan performs during a rehearsal for the ‘Ballet Royalty’ gala at the Great Theatre in Havana, Cuba on Aug. 20, 2016.
  • A dinghy crowded with African migrants is seen drifting off the Libyan coast in Mediterranean Sea on Aug. 20, 2016.
  • A woman carrying a child flees after an air strike on the rebel-heldtown of Douma, eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Syria on Aug. 20, 2016.
  • People enjoy a ride on a chairoplane merry-go-round while the sun sets behind the fairground in Sehnde, near Hanover, Germany on Aug. 20, 2016.
  • Dancers lighting joss sticks before praying at Erawan Shrine, a popular tourist landmark in Bangkok, Thailand on Aug. 20, 2016.
  • Relatives grieve at a hospital in Gaziantep following a late night militant attack on a wedding party in southeastern Turkey on Aug. 20, 2016.
  • Germany’s midfielder Sven Bender and Brazil’s forward Gabriel Jesus vie for the ball during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games men’s football gold medal match between Brazil and Germany at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 20, 2016.
  • Britain’s Mo Farah celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the Men’s 5000m Final during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 20, 2016.
  • Relatives of victims killed in a bomb attack on a pre-wedding party mourn in front of the forensic medicine institute in Gaziantep, in southeast Turkey on Aug. 21, 2016.
  • A family watches the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Mangueira favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Aug. 21, 2016.
  • A Canadian Coast Guard ship tows floatation devices used by U.S. partiers to the Canadian side of the St. Clair River between Michigan and Ontario on Aug. 21, 2016. About 1,500 Americans ended up in Canada after getting hit by strong wind and rain.
  • A child walks in a water fountain in a park in central Moscow, Russia on Aug. 21, 2016.
  • Brazilian singer Mariene De Castro performs during the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 21, 2016.
  • Artists perform during the Closing Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Aug. 21, 2016.
  • France’s Luc Abalo covers his head with a towel after France lost the men’s finals handball match against Denmark and France at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Aug. 21, 2016.
  • France’s Tony Victor James Yoka, left, celebrates his gold medal for the men’s super heavyweight boxing with Estelle Mossely, France’s gold medalist for the women’s lightweight 60kg, at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Aug. 21, 2016.
  • A Palestinian man drives a three-wheeler loaded with sofas and mattresses on Aug. 21, 2016 in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip.
  • A horse stands in flood waters in front of the closed gate of a house in Allahabad, India on Aug. 21, 2016. Incessant monsoon rains in northern India have caused major rivers Ganges and Yamuna to overflow, submerging many low-lying areas.
  • A worker uses his smartphone on a construction site in Beijing, China on Aug. 22, 2016.
  • A supporter of the Gabonese opposition leader Jean Ping sits in the second district of the capital Libreville for a campaign rally on Aug. 22, 2016.
  • A child watches as Brazilian judo gold medalist Rafaela Silva is given a hero’s welcome as she rides a fire truck into the Cidade de Deus “City of God” slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Aug. 22, 2016.
  • Mahvish, the sister of Kashmiri Irfan Ahmed who was killed by a teargas shell, breaks down as local residents visit the family to offer their condolences in Srinagar’s Fateh Kadal area on Aug. 22, 2016.
  • Couples participate in the first qualifying round of the World Tango Championship, in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Aug. 22, 2016. Close to 500 couples, representing Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Korea, Japan, Russia, Italy and other countries are expected to compete during the Buenos Aires Tango Festival.
  • A Kashmiri girl holds her brother in the doorway of their home while watching protesters shout pro-freedom and anti-Indian slogans during mourning and protests held in downtown Srinagar on Aug. 22, 2016, following the killing of teenager Irfan Ahmed by security forces.
  • A member of the Kurdish police known as the Asayesh observes enemy positions from a lookout point in the northeastern Syrian city of Hasakah during ongoing fighting with regime forces on Aug, 22, 2016.
  • Two girls play on a wall during sunset in a neighborhood of the commune of Cite Soleil, Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Aug. 22, 2016.
  • People board a cable car in Chongqing, China on Aug. 22, 2016.
  • A dog sits on a wall of a house at a slum area on the flooded banks of the river Yamuna in Allahabad, India on Aug. 22, 2016.
  • A Kashmiri protester throws a tear smoke shell on government forces as he reacts to the Sunday’s killing of a young man in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir on Aug. 22, 2016.
  • A Yemeni jumps into floodwaters following heavy rain in the province of Ibb, Yemen on Aug. 23, 2016. Heavy torrential rains triggered flash floods in several parts of Yemen.
  • Two people look at the milky way from the summit of the Grande Dent de Morcles above Morcles VD, Switzerland on Aug. 23, 2016.
  • A Kashmiri man rows a boat inside a Nigeen Lake in Srinagar on Aug. 23, 2016. 
  • People celebrate the return of the Serbian Olympic Team from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in front of the Serbian Assembly, in Belgrade, Serbia on Aug. 23, 2016.
  • An Indian participant dressed as the Hindu god Lord Krishna looks on during a cultural event in the run up to the dahi handi celebrations of ‘Janmashtami’, which mark the birth of Lord Krishna, in Mumbai on Aug. 23, 2016.
  • Two men take selfies as they sit on the ledge of a high-rise building in an activity called “rooftopping” in Hong Kong, China on Aug. 23, 2016.
  • A Canadair plane fights a forest fire in Andreus, Abrantes municipality, Portugal on Aug. 23, 2016.
  • An Afghan boy lies on a plastic boat at the outdoor area of the abandoned former Athens International Airport, where refugees and migrants found temporary shelter on Aug. 23, 2016.
  • An Indian shopkeeper sits on a boat outside his flooded shop at The Manikarnika Ghat in Varanasi on Aug. 23, 2016.
  • President Barack Obama greets a family as he tours houses in a flood-affected neighborhood in Zachary, La. on Aug. 23, 2016.
  • A man stands among damaged buildings after a strong earthquake hit central Italy, in Amatrice, on Aug. 24, 2016.
  • An Indian villager pushes a bicycle as he crosses a flooded road at Naraha on the outskirts of Allahabad on Aug. 24, 2016.
  • Revellers listen to Limp Bizkit performing onstage at the festival Chiemsee Summer in Ubersee, Germany on Aug. 24, 2016.
  • Indian workers carry bamboo from a stack at the bank of the Brahmaputra river in Guwahati, India on Aug. 24, 2016.
  • Rescuers work following an earthquake in Pescara del Tronto, central Italy, on Aug. 24, 2016.
  • Rescuers work during the night at a collapsed house following an earthquake in Pescara del Tronto, central Italy on Aug. 24, 2016.
  • Congolese soldiers arrest a civilian protesting against the government’s failure to stop the killings and inter-ethnic tensions in the town of Butembo, in North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo on Aug. 24, 2016.
  • A visitor enjoys a water slide in Hanover, Germany on Aug. 24, 2016.
  • People swim during the annual Lake Zurich swimming event over a distance of 4,921 feet in Zurich, Switzerland on Aug. 24, 2016.
  • An aerial view of a flooded village on the outskirts of Allahabad, India on Aug. 24, 2016.
  • A Turkish soldier stands guard in the Turkish-Syrian border city of Karkamis in the southern region of Gaziantep, on Aug. 24, 2016.
  • The sun at dawn illuminates mountain peaks as seen from Signal Mountain in Grand Teton National Park, Wyo. on Aug. 25, 2016.
  • A traffic officer directs vehicles at a street junction during sunset in Pyongyang, North Korea on Aug. 25, 2016.
  • Collapsed walls are seen surrounding the ancient pagoda of Sulamani after a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit Bagan, Myanmar on Aug. 25, 2016.
  • Orthodox nuns hold candles and flowers as they take part in a procession bringing an icon of Virgin Mary to the tomb where she is believed to be buried, through Jerusalem’s Old City, Israel on Aug. 25, 2016.
  • Indian Hindus are showered with water while taking a pledge before forming a ‘human pyramid’ during the dahi handi celebrations of Janmashtami, which mark the birth of Hindu god Lord Krishna, in Mumbai, India on Aug. 25, 2016.
  • More than 1,000 volunteers use umbrellas to create a living National Park Service emblem on the grounds of the Washington Monument in celebration of the National Park Service’s 100th Anniversary in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 25, 2016.
  • People affected by India’s flooding, who rescued four dogs and their four puppies, play on the roof of their submerged house in Allahabad, India on Aug. 25, 2016.
  • A wildfire is seen from a Ministry of Environment and Forestry helicopter over Kubu Raya, near Pontianak, West Kalimantan, Indonesia on Aug. 25, 2016.
  • A wildfire burns near the village of Tafalla, Navarra, Spain on Aug. 25, 2016.
  • An Indian cyclist rides along a flooded road on the outskirts of Allahabad, India on Aug. 25, 2016.
  • Members of UEFA soccer clubs attend the draw ceremony for the 2016/2017 Champions League Cup soccer competition at Monaco’s Grimaldi in Monaco on Aug. 25, 2016.
  • Members of the Serpentine Swimming Club dive into the water for an early morning swim in the Serpentine Lake in London, Britain on Aug. 26, 2016.
  • A man carries a street sign as opposition party supporters clash with police in Harare, Zimbabwe on Aug. 26, 2016.

of

Updated

The 2016 Summer Olympics came to a close on Sunday night, transforming Rio’s Maranã Stadium — surrounded by spectators watching from the outside — into the center of the city’s carnival-like celebrations.

American gymnast Simone Biles carried the flag for the United States in the closing ceremony, which ended with the passing off of the Olympic flag for the 2020 Olympics, to be held in Tokyo. The 19-day games culminated in a combined 46 gold medals awarded to the U.S. They were also the last Olympic games for swimmer Michael Phelps, who has earned 23 gold medals, and 28 total medals, since his Olympic debut in 2000.

Helen Louise Maroulis, a 24-year-old Maryland native, made history this year when she became the first U.S. woman athlete to win an Olympic gold medal for wrestling. Jamaican superstar sprinter Usain Bolt cemented his status as the world’s fastest man, winning the 100-meter competition for the third time in a breathtaking 9.81 seconds. Meanwhile, Biles continued to prove her dominance over the women’s gymnastics field, finishing her first Olympics with five medals — four of them gold. The U.S. trio of Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, and Kristi Castlin swept the 100-meter hurdles, marking the first time a nation has swept the podium in the event.

Later in the week, a devastating 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit central Italy, reducing ancient Roman ruins to dust. Since then, almost 1,000 aftershocks have been recorded, up to a magnitude of 4.7. By Friday, the death toll had reached 267, with thousands still displaced. On the same morning a 6.8 magnitude earthquake shook Bagan, Myanmar, killing four people and damaging dozens of ancient temples and pagodas.

In Kabul, Afghanistan, attackers killed 12 people when they used firearms and explosives to overrun the American University. A suicide bomber on Saturday killed 54 people in Turkey’s southeastern city of Gaziantep when he walked into a wedding party strapped with plastic explosives.

Flooding ravaged cities across India, Yemen and Louisiana, where the flood is being called the worst natural disaster in the U.S. since Hurricane Sandy four years ago. After some controversy, President Obama on Tuesday visited the state in an effort to assess the damage and recovery. Twenty parishes have been declared federal disaster areas.

Fires, too, continued to rage, burning across parts of Indonesia, Spain and Portugal. 

On a lighter note, the United States this week observed the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. It was established within the Department of the Interior by President Woodrow Wilson and has since been charged with protecting, preserving, and educating Americans about the country’s iconic national, natural treasures. 

For more feature photography, go to msnbc.com/photography.

Speak Out