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Natural-Disasters (English Topic)

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Natural Disasters
Natural disasters are varied and widespread.
A few examples of natural disasters are: earthquakes,
floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, avalanches, heat waves, ice ages,
meteor strikes, drought, wild fires, epidemics, famines, weather disasters and others.
What are
some weather disasters that you know?
Are you familiar with all of the above natural disasters?
An earthquake occurs due to underground activity such as the movement of tectonic plates.
The
underground origin of the earthquake is called the 'focus', and the point directly above the focus on
the surface of the earth is called the 'epicenter'.
The Richter scale is most commonly used system of
measurement of earthquakes.
It measures the
magnitude
of an earthquake on a scale of 0-10.
An
earthquake of magnitude 10 has ever been recorded.
The largest earthquake in recorded history
occurred in Chile in 1960 (9.5).
The second most powerful earthquake in recorded history occurred
in 2004 in the Indian Ocean.
Although the earthquake itself caused little damage,
the
subsequent
tsunami wreaked havoc and killed thousands.
An earthquake of less than 2.0 on
the Richter scale is known as a microearthquake and is not felt.
There are approximately 8,000
microearthquakes every day!
Volcanic eruptions are dangerous because of the hot lava which flows from the volcano after
eruption and the volcanic ash which is
released into the atmosphere.
The
ash is dangerous for animals to inhale
and can cause damage to moving
parts in machinery.
A tsunami (also known as a tidal wave)
is a series of water waves caused by
the
displacement
of a large volume of
a body of water.
They are usually
caused by underwater earthquakes.
After the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami,
the DART system (Deep-ocean
Assessment and Reporting of
Tsunamis) was established
internationally.
The DART system
consists of a surface buoy and a
seafloor device which measures
pressure.
Using these tools, scientists monitor the situation and can help to warn seaside
communities of
imminent
danger.
An avalanche is the rapid flow of snow down a slope, hill, or mountain.
They are often
triggered
by
human activities, such as constructions or even simply skiing.
During World War One, almost
50,000 solders were killed as a result of avalanches during the mountain campaign in the Alps on
the Austrian-Italian front.
Most of the avalanches were caused by artillery fire.
Natural disaster movies such as “2012” or
“The Day After Tomorrow” are very popular in the United
States.
Which natural disaster movies do you remember?
Which is your favorite?
Copyright©2010 English
Republic
.ru All rights reserved
Which natural disasters occur in Russia?
How often?
What type of natural disaster is the scariest to
you?
Why?
What is the worst natural disaster that you can remember?
What do you think is worse
– natural disasters or manmade disasters?
Magnitude
= [NOUN] The property of relative size or extent (large or small) of something; the scale
of something.
[Psychologists are trying to determine the magnitude of damage done to the small
child by his abusive parents..]
Subsequent
= [ADJECTIVE] Occurring or coming later or after; Following in order or succession;
Following close behind
[In subsequent years, teaching younger actors became as important to her
as her own acting.]
Displacement
= The act of something being moved from its original location due to an external
event.
[The displacement of indigenous tribes after the wild fires in Africa numbered in the ten
thousands.]
Imminent
= [ADJECTIVE]
About to occur; impending.
[I tried to warn her of the imminent danger
when I saw the tornado just a few miles away, but she didn't listen.]
To trigger
(something)
= To set off or initiate something; to cause something.
[The hooligan's
fireworks triggered panic in the city square, as people mistook the exploding fireworks for a bomb.]
HURRICANE KATRINA (2005)
Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans,
Louisiana on August 29
th
, 2005.
By August
31
st
, 80% of New Orleans was flooded, and
many sections were under 4.5 meters of
water.
Luckily, 90% of the residents of
Louisiana were evacuated
before the
hurricane hit.
However, in the end 1,464
people died.
As you know, the most
dangerous aspect of a hurricane is not the
precipitation that it drops, but the dangerous
winds which accompany it.
The reason why
Hurricane Katrina was so
devastating
for
New Orleans is because the strong winds
caused the
levees
to break, thus flooding
the city.
In the days following the hurricane,
there was some
looting
in the city, but the
military was called in and they halted illegal
action very quickly.
The state government was heavily criticized after the tragedy for failing to help
its citizens.
On April 9, 2010, Amnesty International accused the United States government of
violating the human rights of hurricane victims by treating them improperly and not giving enough
assistance to poor minority communities.
What do you think the government is responsible for in
such situations?
What if you were warned about a flood in St. Petersburg?
Would you
evacuate
or would you stay
put?
Have you ever experienced a natural disaster?
Copyright©2010 English
Republic
.ru All rights reserved
Devastating
(for/to something/someone)
=
Extremely effective in a destructive way – physically
and/or emotionally.
[Her mother's death was devastating to her, and she would never recover
emotionally from the blow.]
Levees
= Structures raised to prevent a river or other water source from overflowing.
[Because it is
located below sea level, the city decided to build a levee on the outskirts in order to help prevent
water from Lake Erie from flowing into the city during heavy rains.]
Looting
= The act of steal goods and vandalizing property in a time of chaos, especially after natural
disasters or political unrest. [A person who loots is called a looter.]
[The looting which occurred in
Kyrgyzstan following the coup has been brought under control by the interim government.]
To evacuate
=
To withdraw or vacate (leave) a place or area, especially as a protective measure.
[NOTE: This verb can mean both to leave AND to force others to leave a place.
(see following
examples)
[The police evacuated the scene of the crime so that the investigators could complete
their work without interference.
The police evacuated the building after it caught fire and was too
dangerous to continue rescue operations.]
POP
QUIZ
There will be a quiz on a secret topic.
Don't flunk
! [
to flunk
= to fail (academically) = to receive an F
(1)]
CONVERSATIONS
Kai
:
Vadim, did you hear about the
earthquakes in Baja Mexico?
That's
too bad.....that used to be a really
pretty place to visit, but now
it's
in
ruins
.
Vadim
:
Yeah, that's a shame.
I had
wanted to visit that region of Mexico,
but not anymore....I'm
not
into
extreme tourism.
Kai
:
You do realize that earthquakes
happen in many parts of the world, and
are pretty much unpredictable, right?
Vadim
:
Whatever, Kai – I've never
heard about earthquakes in Bermuda,
Barbados, or St. Lucia......
Kai:
Perhaps not, but those are
islands which are often
plagued
by hurricanes.
Vadim
:
Well, at least that's better than the tornadoes which often strike the Midwest!
Kai
:
That's true, but why would you visit the Midwestern United States anyway?
It's probably the
least interesting part of the country, unless you're a farmer!
Vadim
:
I love wheat fields.
Kai
:
Okay......
Viktor
:
Vadim, you can vacation in Spain.
They never have natural disasters.
It's always sunny, the
people are friendly, and there are plenty of interesting sites to see.
Kai
:
Ummm.....except for in 2007 when there was the earthquake on the Iberian Peninsula.
And
don't forget about the 2003 heat wave which led to a
drought
and 141 deaths.
Vadim
:
Yeah, no thanks – I can go to the local solarium to get a tan.
Copyright©2010 English
Republic
.ru All rights reserved
Kai
:
No place is safe from natural disasters.
They're part of life, and there's nothing we can do to
prevent them.
Vadim
:
Not according to Hugo Chavez!
He says that the United States military has a secret
weapon
which causes natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes.
Kai
:
Vadim, if you believe the nonsense that comes out of Hugo Chavez's mouth, I've got some
oceanfront property in Belarus to sell you......
Vadim
:
Really?
For how much?
Kai
:
Wow.
Somebody
skipped
geography class.
Belarus is landlocked, Vadim......
Vadim
:
Oh well.
I guess I'll just stay in St. Petersburg.
Viktor
:
Yeah, let's go clubbing!
Vadim
:
Alright!
The first round is on me.
Kai
:
You guys have fun.
I'm going to stay in and watch Law & Order
.
See you later.
(To be [OR] to lie) in ruins
= To be destroyed; To be ruined; To be in a very poor
condition.
[Following the Balkan War, much of Sarajevo lay in ruins.]
(To be) into (something)
= To be interested in something; To enjoy (doing) something.
[Max, what
do you want to do this weekend?
-Hmmm, well, I'm into sports....let's go play basketball.
-Basketball?
Uggh.
Let's play soccer instead.
-You're not into basketball?
Well I'm not into soccer.
Let's just go to the theater.
-Okay.]
To be plagued (by something)
[To plague (something)]
= To be pestered or annoyed persistently
by something; To be inconvenienced over and over by some negative event.
[Jessica is a very sick
little girl.....she is plagued with a variety of serious diseases. = A variety of serious diseases plague
Jessica.]
Drought
=
A long period of abnormally low rainfall, especially one that adversely affects growing or
living conditions.
To skip class
= To not attend class, usually for a unauthorized reason.
[Although she was not sick,
Olga decided to skip class and go watch Alice in Wonderland at the theater.]
Just Speak!
E
R
Movies (movies with subs
)
Written by Bunny
Copyright©2010 English
Republic
.ru All rights reserved
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