高考英语阅读话题 自然灾害 Natural disasters

高考英语阅读话题 天然灾害 Natural disasters


(新人教B1U4.Natural Disasters; 新外研B3U6 Disaster and hope; 新译林B3U2 Natural Disasters)

新人教 B1 U4 Natural Disasters


Strange things were happening in the countryside of northeastern Hebei. For several days,the water in the village wells rose and fell,rose and fell. There were deep cracks that appeared in the well walls. At least one well had some smelly gas coming out of it. Chickens and even pigs were too nervous to eat,and dogs refused to go inside buildings. Mice ran out of the fields looking for places to hide,and fish jumped out of the water. At about 3:00 a.m., on 28 July 1976,bright lights were seen in the sky outside the city of Tangshan and loud noises were heard. But the city’s one million people were asleep as usual that night.



At 3:42 a.m.,everything began to shake. It seemed as if the world were coming to an end! Eleven kilometres directly below the city,one of the most deadly earthquakes of the 20th century had begun,a quake that even caused damage more than 150 kilometres away in Beijing. Nearly one third of the whole nation felt it! A huge crack,eight kilometres long and 30 metres wide,cut across houses,roads,and waterways. Hard hills of rock became rivers of dirt. In less than one minute,a large city lay in ruins. Two thirds of the people who lived there were dead or injured. Thousands of children were left without parents. The number of people who were killed or badly injured in the quake was more than 400,000.


Everywhere survivors looked,there was nothing but ruins. Nearly everything in the city was destroyed. About 75 percent of the city’s factories and buildings,90 percent of its homes,and all of its hospitals were gone. Bricks covered the ground like red autumn leaves,but no wind could blow them away. Most bridges had fallen or were not safe to cross. The railway tracks were now useless pieces of metal. Tens of thousands of cows,hundreds of thousands of pigs,and millions of chickens were dead. Sand now filled the wells instead of water. People were in shock—and then,later that afternoon,another big quake shook Tangshan again. Even more buildings fell down. Water,food,and electricity were hard to get. People began to wonder how long the disaster would last.


But hope was not lost. Soon after the quakes,the army sent 150,000 soldiers to Tangshan to dig out those who were trapped and to bury the dead. More than 10,000 doctors and nurses came to provide medical care. Workers built shelters for survivors whose homes had been destroyed. Hundreds of thousands of people were helped. Water and food were brought into the city by train,truck,and plane. Slowly,the city began to breathe again.


Tangshan started to revive itself and get back up on its feet. With strong support from the government and the tireless efforts of the city’s people,a new Tangshan was built upon the earthquake ruins. The new city has become a home to more than seven million people,with great improvements in transportation,industry,and environment. Tangshan city has proved to China and the rest of the world that in times of disaster,people must unify and show the wisdom to stay positive and rebuild for a brighter future.


Reading for Writing

TSUNAMI HITS ASIA: OVER 6, 500 DEAD 海啸打击亚洲:6500多人殒命

By Robert Woodhouse Monday, 27 December 2004

罗伯特·伍德侯斯 2004年12月27日,星期一

The most powerful earthquake in the past 40 years caused a tsunami that crashed into coastlines across Asia yesterday, killing more than 6,500 people in Indonesia, India, Thailand, Malaysia, and at least four other countries. Fishermen, tourists, hotels, homes, and cars were swept away by huge waves caused by the strong earthquake that reached a magnitude of 9.0. The undersea quake struck around 7:00 a.m., Sunday off the west coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra Island. In that area alone, at least 1,870 people were killed.


In Sri Lanka, some 1,600 kilometres west of the quake centre, the number of deaths stood at 2,498, and one million more were affected by the tsunami, government officials said. Indian officials said as many as 1,900 had been killed along the southern coast. Another 254 were found dead in Thailand and 54 in three other countries. In southern Thailand, 1,900 people were hurt and many more were missing, local officials said. “I was having breakfast with my three children when water started filling my home. We had to leave everything and run to safety,” said Chandra Theeravit, a local Thai woman.

当局官员说,在地动中央以西约1600公里处的斯里兰卡,殒命人数为2498人,尚有100万人遭到海啸的影响。印度官员说,南部沿海地区有多达1900人丧生。尚有254人死于泰国,其他三个国度则有54人殒命。当地官员说,在泰国南部,有1900人受伤,另有更多的人失散。一位当地泰国女性Chandra Theeravit说:“当水开头灌满我的家时,我和我的三个孩子在一同吃早餐。我们不得不丢弃统统,逃到宁静的场合。”

Thousands of people are still missing, and the number of deaths is expected to grow even higher over the next few days. Foreign aid is being organised for the tsunami-hit countries. However, dangerous conditions and damaged roads will make it difficult to deliver food and supplies.


新外研B3U6 Disaster and hope

Hot! Hot! Hot!热!热!热!

Picking up a free newspaper at the Tube station, I see the title “Hot! Hot! Hot!”. Today, the temperature in London is expected to reach 30 plus degrees! The average high temperature in July is only 22 degrees, so over 30 is not usual for London. It’s going to be awful on the Central Line, with no air conditioning. Why did they have to invent the Tube before air conditioning? It’s just typical that my journey is on one of the oldest lines, as well as one of the deepest. It’s the hottest on the whole Tube system.


Sure enough, going down the stairs and onto the platform is like jumping into a volcano that’s erupting. This, however, is nothing compared to the train. Because there’s no air conditioning, the temperature inside the train can reach 35 degrees! It’s lovely in the beach, but not so when you’re wearing a suit and in a crowd of passengers! I’m sure the passenger next to me and I are melting and becoming one! I had bacon and eggs for breakfast, and now I’m feeling a bit sick—I hope I can make it to Bank station… I’ll avoid the feeling by thinking about work. I work in a tall, glass building. One very hot summer, the sun reflected off it and melted cars parked below! Will this happen again today?


Yes, each summer in London definitely seems hotter than the last. I suddenly feel a bit scared. Perhaps now is the time to start planning for the future? I should probably put my flat on the market and buy a boat. That way, when the Thames rises and there is a flood in London, I’ll still be able to get to work. But wait! Would I still have a workplace to go to? My office is only on the third floor of the building, so quite low. I’ll speak with my manager about moving to the top floor. Most importantly, I will need to learn to swim! I’ll join a beginner’s swimming class immediately. Then I’ll be able to survive even when the tall buildings are flooded.


Looking through my newspaper, I’m shocked by photos showing that a hurricane in Asia has destroyed a town. What’s more, heavy rain in Eastern Europe has caused landslides, and the heat across Southern Europe has caused forest fires. Experts say this bad weather has occurred due to climate change. News like this makes me feel nervous. Now that it’s hard to avoid a disaster on Earth, perhaps I should start thinking about moving to space…


“The next station is Bank!” comes the announcement. That’s my destination. Stepping out of the station with a heavy heart, I suddenly feel a fresh wind on my face. Well, maybe I have been worrying too much. After all, it’s only 30 degrees outside!

地铁播报:“下一站,银行站!” 我要到站了。我怀着极重的心境走出地铁站,我忽然以为到一阵清风劈面而来。罢了罢了,约莫是我担心得太多了。毕竟外表仅有30度!

Stars after the storm 风暴事后现繁星

It’s strange, but I don’t really remember much about the hurricane itself. It all happened so quickly. I was sitting in my room with my cat, Smartie, on my lap, when the roof just flew off. All of a sudden, there was sky where the roof had been. I was so frightened that I just froze.


Mom cried to get out quickly, but it was already too late by then. The rain was coming down so hard and so fast. Our street turned into a river in seconds. We were going nowhere.


At first, I was pleased we could stay at home, but soon it got really tough. Without a roof, staying inside was too dangerous. There was water everywhere, but we couldn’t drink any of it otherwise we’d get really sick. We just had drinking water that was sent to us by helicopter, but it was never enough. It was August, so it was really, really hot and it smelled so bad everywhere! I just spent the days watching the boats going up and down the street and looking out for Smartie. He had disappeared the moment the storm hit.


Living in the open air, we became breakfast, lunch and dinner for the mosquitos. But Mom said that whatever happens, we should always try to see the good side of things. It was difficult to stay positive, though. We had lost our home and everything in it, including Smartie. All we had left were the clothes on our backs. But as Mom kept on reminding us, we were all together and safe. Mom’s words made us feel better. I remember us all lying under the midnight sky and looking up at the stars. Because there were no lights, we could see the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper and the Milky Way. It was amazing! Even though we had lost a lot, moments like those gave us hope for the future.


Although it was only a few days before we were rescued, it felt like months. We were taken to another town in a faraway county. Thankfully, Smartie came home just in time. We were so happy to take him with us, although then, none of us knew that we wouldn’t be back for quite a while.


Now, one year has passed and I’m back home in New Orleans. Some families have yet to return, but many others have come back. Although we are surrounded by reminders of the disaster, we are working together to rebuild our homes and our lives. Now we have another chance to look up at the stars of New Orleans, their beauty inspiring us and giving us confidence to move on.



Unit 2 Reading

Pupils’ lives spared during Falmont earthquake


By Raymond Tran

18 March

FALMONT-On 17 March,476 students and 36 teachers at Falmont Primary School escaped an earthquake that hit the county at 2:27 p.m.Only 5 students suffered slight injuries,despite the current figures 200 injured in the disaster area at large.


Alice Brown,head teacher at Falmont Primary School,was teaching when the floor began to shake. Her students’ reaction was quick and correct-they moved under their desks,head first,and held on to the legs of the desks.At the same time, Miss Brown quickly opened the classroom door, in case it became damaged during the shaking and could not open. There were loud crashes of glass breaking and things falling to the ground, but the students remained still and waited calmly and quietly.


The moment the shaking stopped, Miss Brown sensed it was the best time for the class to make their escape. She signalled to her students to exit the classroom in an orderly line covering their heads with their hands.Within one minute and twenty seconds, the whole class went down the stairs and rushed to the playground.Soon students from other classes arrived too.After a roll call confirmed that all were safe and sound, they relaxed, laughing,crying and hugging each other.”

晃动一中止,布朗密斯立刻熟悉到这是全班逃生的最好机会。她表现学生 们用双手护着头,排好队,有序分开讲堂。1分20秒内,全班下楼梯,跑到了操场上。很快,其他班的学生也赶到了。点名确认一切人都安全无事后,各位才松了一口吻,笑啊,哭啊,互相拥抱着。

“We practise earthquake safety procedures twice a year,” said Miss Brown,“so the kids were calm enoug h to protect themselves during the earthquake.”


NEWDALE-On 20 December,a series of huge waves caused by an undersea Earthquake raced across the ocean near Goldshore and left thousands dead. Goldshore Beach was the only local beach to survive the disaster without any loss of life.A10-year-old girl,Sabrina Andron,helped around 100 people escape danger with her knowledge of tsunamis.


The day began like any other on Goldshore Beach.People were walking,running or simply sitting on the sandy beach,enjoying the warm sea air and the soft wind that brushed their hair. Sabrina was one of the happy tourists until she noticed something odd. “The water was like the bubbles on the top of a beer,” she later explained. “It wasn’t calm and it wasn’ t going in and then out. It was just coming in and in and in.”Sabrina had just learnt about tsunamisina Geography lesson. It immediately occurred to her that these were signs of an approaching tsunami. Sabrina was frightened,but she soon kept her head. She warned her parents of the danger, though at first they just thought she was joking.However,Sabrina was certain that a terrible disaster was on its way and kept asking her parents to talk to a safety officer. To her great relief, the officer immediately realized the coming danger.The beach was rapidly cleared of people, just before the huge waves crashed into the coast.


U2 Extended reading

The Last Days of Pompeii (Excerpt)


Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873) was a talented British writer who left his mark on the English language. His classic novel The Last Days of Pompeii imagines life in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii in the year 79, when Mount Vesuvius erupted. This terrible natural disaster destroyed Pompeii completely, but it also kept the ancient city as it was for future ages. Since 1748,Pompeii has been systematically unearthed.Today it is an international tourist destination.


Pompeii was a typical Roman city. In its little shops, its tiny palaces, its forum,its wine bars, its theatre-in the energy and skill of its people, you saw a model of the whole Roman Empire.Trading ships bringing imports to the city or carrying exports overseas, along with golden pleasure boats for the rich,were crowded together in the glassy water of the port. The boats of the fishermen moved rapidly in all directions. Above all, the cloud-capped top of Mount Vesuvius appeared. Its ashy rocks,now dark, now light, told a story of past eruptions that might have warned the city what was to come!


The awful night rolled slowly away,and the dawn greyly broke on THE LAST DAY OF POMPEII! The crowd looked upwards, and saw, with unspeakable fear, a huge cloud shooting from the top of the volcano. It took the form of a huge tree: the trunk, blackness, the branches, fire!This fire moved and changed in colour with every moment:now it was wildly bright, now of a pale and dying red,and now again it bumt with an unbearable light!


The cries of women broke out; the men looked at each other, but were silent. At that moment, they felt the earth shaking beneath their feet; beyond in the distance, they heard the crash of falling roofs.A moment later,the mountain-cloud seemed to roll towards them,dark and rapid, like a river, at the same time, it threw out a shower of ashes and huge pieces of burning stone! Over the empty streets-over the forum-far and wide-with many a noisy crash in the stormy sea-fell that awful shower!


Each turned to fly-each running,pressing,pushing against the other. If, in the darkness, wife was separated from husband, or parent from child,there was no hope of their meeting again. Each hurried blindly and fearfully on.So came the earthquake…and so ended life in Pompeii.


Nearly seventeen centuries had rolled away before the city of Pompeii was dug from its silent resting place. Its walls were fresh as if painted yesterday; not a single colour changed on the rich pattern of its floors. In its forum, the half-finished columns seemed as if just left by the workman’s hand. Long after fire and ash came for the people of Pompeii,the remains of their beautiful city survive to remind us that human lives burn bright and short


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