Thursday, April 7, 2011

English about Earth quake - improve your spoken English

II. Read these news items:

Death toll mounts in India quake

NEW DELHI, Jan. 26. A severe earthquake rolled across the entire Indian subcontinent on Friday, killing scores of people and injuring hundreds as it rocked buildings in Pakistan, India and Nepal. The 6.9-magnitude quake killed 136 just in India’s arid western state of Gujarat.

Moderate earthquake rocks State

By Our Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, DEC. 12. An earthquake of moderate intensity rocked Idukki, Kottayam and nearby districts this morning. Widespread damage to houses and other buildings occurred in the two districts. Much of these are in the form of cracks on walls.

Mild tremors were felt in Thiruvananthapuram and several districts north and south of Kottayam at 6.54 a.m. Reports from Tamil Nadu said the shock was experienced in districts adjoining Idukki.Tremors were felt in Kozhikode district as well.

The Weather Bureau here reported that the shock was of the magnitude of 5.0 on the Richter Scale, the highest to be recorded in Kerala.

NEW DELHI, Oct. 3. Two low intensity earthquakes rattled Kutch region of Gujarat today. Meteorological department sources said here that an earthquake of 4.1 intensity on the Richter Scale was experienced at 2.31 p.m. Its epicentre was 23.5 degrees north latitude and 70.1 degrees east longitude.

CHENNAI, Sept. 25. A ‘moderate’ earthquake, measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale, shook parts of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Pondicherry around 8.30 tonight. Its epicentre lay 50 km east of Pondicherry, in the Bay of Bengal.

An earthquake is one of the most terrifying phenomena that nature can dish up. We generally think of the ground we stand on as “rock-solid” and completely stable. An earthquake can shatter that perception instantly, and often with extreme violence. An earthquake is a vibration that travels through the earth’s crust. Technically, a large truck that rumbles down the street is causing a mini-earthquake, if you feel your house shaking as it goes by, but we tend to think of earthquakes as events that affect a fairly large area, such as an entire city.

Did you know?

We only hear about earthquakes in the news every once in a while, but they are actually an everyday occurrence on our planet. According to the United States Geological Survey, more than three million earthquakes occur every year. That’s about 8,000 a day, or one every 11 seconds!

Task: Answer the following questions:

1. What is meant by the following?
(a) 6.9-magnitude
(b) magnitude of 5.0
(c) 4.1 intensity
(d) measuring 5.6
2. What is the device used to measure the above?
3. What is meant by ‘epicentre’?
4. Why is the first New Delhi quake said to be ‘severe’, whereas the Tiruvananthapuram and Chennai quakes are said to be ‘moderate’ and the second New Delhi quake said to be ‘of low intensity’?
5. What do you infer from the ‘Did you know?’ box?

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