Fire, flood and revolution: Picture agency EPA picks its favourite images of 20196 min read

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As 2019 draws to a close, picture agency EPA have chosen a selection of its best photos taken throughout a busy year that capture some of its most poignant moments. 

With a focus on the human side of the turbulent events that shaped the year, captivating photos show Day of the Dead festivities in Mexico and thick smoke rising from raging bushfires in Australia. 

The latter part of 2019 was shaped by uprisings in countries across the globe as people demanded increased civil rights and the ousting of government leaders from places as far afield as Chile, Hong Kong and Lebanon. 

The year was a significant one for Germany as the country marked 25 years since the collapse of the Berlin wall and the ensuing fall of communism in the divided nation. 

Hundreds of thousands gathered at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to celebrate the occasion on November 9. 

Meanwhile natural disasters saw the streets of Venice flooded as it was hit with the worst seen in more than 50 years. An earthquake in Albania on November 26 claimed 50 lives and injured hundreds more. 

Meanwhile youth eco-activist Greta Thunberg garnered international attention for calling world leaders out for their inaction on climate change and the year saw school children participating in mass global climate protests.  

Rising water levels at San Marco square in Venice, northern Italy, 24 November. Tidal waters returned to Venice just days after the city experienced its worst flooding in more than 50 years

Rising water levels at San Marco square in Venice, northern Italy, 24 November. Tidal waters returned to Venice just days after the city experienced its worst flooding in more than 50 years

Visitors are reflected in the acrylic glass pane of a viewing platform on a building as they look at central city's skyline in Tokyo, Japan on November 29

Visitors are reflected in the acrylic glass pane of a viewing platform on a building as they look at central city’s skyline in Tokyo, Japan on November 29 

Firefighters try to rescue a survivor after an earthquake hit Thumane, Albania on November 26

Firefighters try to rescue a survivor after an earthquake hit Thumane, Albania on November 26

Police inspect tents during a police operation to clear makeshift camps in the north of Paris, France, early November 7. During a presentation of the French government's immigration policy on November 6, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced that camps for irregular migrants in Paris were to be evacuated by the end of the year

Police inspect tents during a police operation to clear makeshift camps in the north of Paris, France, early November 7. During a presentation of the French government’s immigration policy on November 6, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced that camps for irregular migrants in Paris were to be evacuated by the end of the year

Sharnie Moran and her 18-month-old daughter Charlotte look on as thick smoke rises from bushfires near Nana Glen, near Coffs Harbour, Tuesday, November 12. There were more than 50 fires burning around the state of New South Wales, with about half of those uncontained

Sharnie Moran and her 18-month-old daughter Charlotte look on as thick smoke rises from bushfires near Nana Glen, near Coffs Harbour, Tuesday, November 12. There were more than 50 fires burning around the state of New South Wales, with about half of those uncontained

A man recovers a computer monitor from the dumpsite of Agbogbloshie in Accra, Ghana, November 12. The Agbogbloshie dump is considered the biggest electronic trash dump in the African continent, where the electronic trash arrives from all over the world, mainly from Europe and the US. According to the International Recycling Office, the world will generate 53.9 tons of electronic waste by 2025 if the production continues until now, which means a 3 per cent increase per year of electronic trash. The COP25 World Climate Change Conference is taking place from 02 to 13 December 2019 in Madrid, Spain under the motto 'Time to Act'

A man recovers a computer monitor from the dumpsite of Agbogbloshie in Accra, Ghana, November 12. The Agbogbloshie dump is considered the biggest electronic trash dump in the African continent, where the electronic trash arrives from all over the world, mainly from Europe and the US. According to the International Recycling Office, the world will generate 53.9 tons of electronic waste by 2025 if the production continues until now, which means a 3 per cent increase per year of electronic trash. The COP25 World Climate Change Conference is taking place from 02 to 13 December 2019 in Madrid, Spain under the motto ‘Time to Act’

Iraqi protesters ride a tuk-tuk during clashes with protesters and riot police forces near al-Ahrar bridge (The Freemen Bridge) in central Baghdad, Iraq, November 4. Media reports state that the Iraqi security forces killed at least five demonstrators in Baghdad and wounded others, when the anti-government protesters attempted to across the al Ahrar Bridge, near the Iraqi radio and television building

Iraqi protesters ride a tuk-tuk during clashes with protesters and riot police forces near al-Ahrar bridge (The Freemen Bridge) in central Baghdad, Iraq, November 4. Media reports state that the Iraqi security forces killed at least five demonstrators in Baghdad and wounded others, when the anti-government protesters attempted to across the al Ahrar Bridge, near the Iraqi radio and television building

A woman takes part in a demonstration against all kinds of violence towards women in Brussels, Belgium, November 24, on the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. According to media reports, more than 10,000 marched through the streets of Brussels

A woman takes part in a demonstration against all kinds of violence towards women in Brussels, Belgium, November 24, on the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. According to media reports, more than 10,000 marched through the streets of Brussels

Models present creations by Macedonian designer Teodora Mitrevska, inspired by the spirit of the former Yugoslavia, in train wagons at the city's main railway station during Skopje's Fashion Weekend, in Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia, November 2

Models present creations by Macedonian designer Teodora Mitrevska, inspired by the spirit of the former Yugoslavia, in train wagons at the city’s main railway station during Skopje’s Fashion Weekend, in Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia, November 2

A picture taken with a drone shows protesters lighting up their phones as they gather at Martyrs' Square during ongoing anti-government protests in Beirut, Lebanon, November 3. Protesters demanded the president make parliamentary consultations immediately to facilitate the formation of a new government that replaces the recently resigned cabinet

A picture taken with a drone shows protesters lighting up their phones as they gather at Martyrs’ Square during ongoing anti-government protests in Beirut, Lebanon, November 3. Protesters demanded the president make parliamentary consultations immediately to facilitate the formation of a new government that replaces the recently resigned cabinet

Graphics and historic footage are projected onto the East Side Gallery in Berlin, Germany, on November 3. he projections are as part of the preparations for the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall that was celebrated on November 9

Graphics and historic footage are projected onto the East Side Gallery in Berlin, Germany, on November 3. he projections are as part of the preparations for the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall that was celebrated on November 9 

A young woman cries while being escorted by police officers during an anti-government protest in Santiago, Chile, November 7. A proposed increase in the price of metro fares sparked a series of anti-government protests in the country that have left at least 20 people dead. The protesters are demanding improvements in the quality of healthcare, education and general distribution of wealth in Chile

A young woman cries while being escorted by police officers during an anti-government protest in Santiago, Chile, November 7. A proposed increase in the price of metro fares sparked a series of anti-government protests in the country that have left at least 20 people dead. The protesters are demanding improvements in the quality of healthcare, education and general distribution of wealth in Chile

Two women wearing costumes and make-up participate in the celebration of the 'Muerteadas de Jalapa del Valle', as part of the Day of the Dead festivities, in Oaxaca, Mexico on November 2

Two women wearing costumes and make-up participate in the celebration of the ‘Muerteadas de Jalapa del Valle’, as part of the Day of the Dead festivities, in Oaxaca, Mexico on November 2

US actor Danny DeVito laughs as he receives a prize during the 27th edition of the EnergaCAMERIMAGE 2019 international film festival of the art of cinematography in Torun, Poland, November 9

US actor Danny DeVito laughs as he receives a prize during the 27th edition of the EnergaCAMERIMAGE 2019 international film festival of the art of cinematography in Torun, Poland, November 9 

People buy television sets at a supermarket during a discount campaign on the eve of the Black Friday, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, November 28

People buy television sets at a supermarket during a discount campaign on the eve of the Black Friday, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, November 28 

Supporters of Brazilian former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (centre) carry him on their shoulders in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, November 9. Lula, who was convicted and sentenced to 12 years on charges of corruption and money laundering, was released on 08 November 2019. The Brazilian Supreme Court ruled on 07 November that a defendant could only be jailed after all of their appeals were exhausted

Supporters of Brazilian former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (centre) carry him on their shoulders in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, November 9. Lula, who was convicted and sentenced to 12 years on charges of corruption and money laundering, was released on 08 November 2019. The Brazilian Supreme Court ruled on 07 November that a defendant could only be jailed after all of their appeals were exhausted

The Volcan de Fuego (Volcano of Fire), or Chi Q'aq, erupts as seen from a campsite on the Acatenango volcano, a popular tourist destination, in Acatenango, Guatemala, November 30

The Volcan de Fuego (Volcano of Fire), or Chi Q’aq, erupts as seen from a campsite on the Acatenango volcano, a popular tourist destination, in Acatenango, Guatemala, November 30 

British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes AMG GP is lifted up while holding the British flag after wining the driver championship and finishing second in the United States Formula One Grand Prix race at the Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas, US on November 3

British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes AMG GP is lifted up while holding the British flag after wining the driver championship and finishing second in the United States Formula One Grand Prix race at the Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas, US on November 3 

Protesters wearing yellow vests (gilets jaunes) set cars and barricade on fire as they clash with riot police on Avenue Foch near the Arc de Triomphe during a demonstration over high fuel prices on the Champs Elysee in Paris, France on December 1

Protesters wearing yellow vests (gilets jaunes) set cars and barricade on fire as they clash with riot police on Avenue Foch near the Arc de Triomphe during a demonstration over high fuel prices on the Champs Elysee in Paris, France on December 1