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photo 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.

Historic Town Destroyed in Italy Earthquake

dateline: 24 August 2016

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • magnitude: strength
  • sift: to search through and isolate the important parts
  • rubble: broken bits of material following a disaster
  • struck: hit hard (past of strike)
  • festival: a celebratory event

Historic Town Destroyed in Italy Earthquake

At least 159 people are dead and up to 400 injured after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck in a area of central Italy this week. Villagers quickly began sifting through the rubble with hands and farm to try to find survivors. three quarters of the historic town of Amatrice was destroyed in the quake. A popular pasta festival was to occur there this weekend. One of the only things still standing in Amatrice is the clock tower, which stopped at 3:36 am, the time the quake struck.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Where did the earthquake strike?
  2. According to early estimates, approximately how many people died in the earthquake?
  3. Why does the report mention a clock tower?

Discussion Questions: Why haven’t humans been able to develop a reliable early warning system for earthquakes? Do you think they will be able to do this in the near future?

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.

Teacher's Notes

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2 Comments on “Historic Town Destroyed in Italy Earthquake”

  1. Thank you very much, this is a very useful web site to learn English.

  2. My Name is Cheryl Walker News Anchor for Italy, In Italy a Historic Town was destroyed, AT LEAST 159 People are dad 400 injured after 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck in a mountain area of central Italy . villagers began sifting through the rubble with hand and farm tools to try and find survivors. Approximately three quarters of the historic town of Amatrice was destroyed in the quake. A popular pasta festival was scheldued to occur there this weekend. One of the only things still standing in Amatrice is the clock tower, which stopped at 3:36a.m., the exact tome the quake struck.

    Cheryl Walker

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