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photo Tara Benwell Listen to News with Tara Benwell - Instructions:
1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

dateline: 17 January 2011

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Worst Natural Disaster in Australian History

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • devastate: cause major trouble
  • massive: very large
  • tsunami: a giant wave of water
  • flash flood: sudden surge of water on dry ground
  • reconstruct: build again after something breaks
  • infrastructure: basic services and buildings in an area

Worst Natural Disaster in Australian History

Australia, which is accustomed to water shortages and of drought, has been devastated by massive flooding since December. Queensland’s Premier called the recent flooding the worst natural disaster in Australia’s history. The hot ocean water off the of Australia is being blamed for the floods. A tsunami-like flash flood in the city of Toowoomba caused people to evacuate to their rooftops on January 10th. The cost and magnitude of the reconstruction is unclear, though experts say it could take years to clean up. A similar flood in had higher waters, though the infrastructure was less developed then. fear that the Great Barrier Reef could be in danger from the run-off. About people have been affected by the floods.

Comprehension Questions

  1. According to the report, what types of difficulties are the people of Australia accustomed to?
  2. How does this period of flooding compare to the one in 1974?
  3. Why does the report mention the Great Barrier Reef?

Discussion Question: Many grocery stores and banks have been closed in major Australian cities due to the recent flooding. Are you currently prepared for an emergency such as this?

show Answers

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.
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