Year in review: Touching moments from disasters around the world

WATCH: Houston furniture store takes in Harvey evacuees, shelter turns into 'slumber party on steroids'

Our planet was hit with several natural disasters over the past year. Avalanches, hurricanes, earthquakes and more made headlines as communities rallied together to demonstrate humanity. These are the most touching moments that arose from disasters around the world.

Furniture store owner opens store for shelter during Hurricane Harvey

When Houston, Texas was hit by Hurricane Harvey, residents found themselves stranded after they were evacuated. As outlined in the video above, local businessman Jeff McIngvale opened the doors to his establishment Gallery Furniture, inviting evacuees to find rest and safety at his stores. McIngvale was able to house up to 400 people at his company’s various locations.

Volunteers rescue pets separated from owners after deadly Colombia mudslide

When Colombia was hit with deadly mudslides that killed more than 300 people in April, volunteers rescued the many abandoned and lost pets in the aftermath. A touching video showed volunteers wading through mud and debris to reach the distressed animals.

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News anchor reassures scared elderly woman during live broadcast

News anchor helps scared elderly woman trapped by Harvey floods live on air
News anchor helps scared elderly woman trapped by Harvey floods live on air

As floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey encroached upon residents in Texas and southern Louisiana, 81-year-old Dorothy Henley called into local CBS-affiliate KFDM from her flooded home for more information on the storm’s path. For more than seven minutes, anchor Jasmine Styles talked Henley through her panic, reminding her to breathe and guided her to call emergency services for more help.

Japanese rescue team gets standing ovation from Mexican counterparts

In September, Mexico suffered a series of major earthquakes, the strongest of which registered at 8.1 magnitude. Around 400 people died. The international community stepped in to help the Central American nation, including a team of Japanese search and rescuers. Cameras captured the moving moment local rescuers thanked the team from Japan with a standing ovation and bows, saying “Thank you,” in Japanese.

TV crew helps rescue stranded driver in Houston floodwaters

TV news crew helps rescue stranded truck driver during Tropical Storm Harvey
TV news crew helps rescue stranded truck driver during Tropical Storm Harvey

A news crew with CBS affiliate KHOU 11 did more than just report on the floods ravaging Houston as Tropical Storm Harvey ramped up into a hurricane, stepping in to help rescue the driver of an 18-wheeler stranded in floodwaters. Reporter Brandi Smith and photographer Mario Sandoval flagged down sheriff’s deputies and helped bring the truck driver to safety. The driver and Smith shared an emotional hug after the rescue.

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Seven-month-old baby rescued from rubble of Italy earthquake

In the aftermath of the earthquake that rocked the Italian resort island Ischia this August, dozens of people were trapped under rubble. Among them was a seven-month-old baby named Pasquale and his two brothers. The young boys were reportedly trapped for seven hours, until rescuers were able to pull them out in what some called a miraculous rescue.

– with files from Rahul Kalvapalle

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