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 Words in the News
  This week, we are looking at a report about operations to evacuate the area around the Mayon volcano in the Philippines, which erupted today. Clare Arthurs, BBC East Asia Reporter, reported.
  AudioListen to the report in full
Mayon volcano, Philippines

24th February 2000

Mayon volcano

 AudioListen to the first part of the report
   About five thousand people live on the slopes of the Mayon volcano, farming its fertile soil despite an official ban on settlements within six kilometres of the summit. Above their homes, a burning flow of liquid rock or magma has been pushing up from deep in the volcano, sending pieces of lava - some bigger than a refrigerator, tumbling down a gully on the south-east side of the mountain at eighty kilometres an hour. Teams of police and soldiers have been sent to move people from their homes and farms but many are refusing to leave. Mayon’s angry rumble might subside.

fertile soil: ground or earth where plants grow easily, producing good crops

summit : top

magma : technical word for hot, melted rock below the surface of the earth

lava : hot liquid rock from a volcano that becomes solid as it cools

tumbling : tumble - to fall - or here to flow quickly

gully: narrow valley or channel in hill or mountain

NEWS 2  AudioListen to the second part of the report
   But the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has set a level three alert, ranking the situation as critical, with an eruption possible within weeks. Officials are taking no chances. Mayon has a history of violent explosions. Seven years ago, it killed about seventy villagers. Its most violent eruption was almost a century ago when twelve-hundred people died in a shower of flaming ash.

Volcanology : the scientific study of volcanoes

Seismology: the scientific study of earthquakes

ranking :used after a word such as high or critical to describe its position or grade

flaming : burning or, here, very hot , bright with heat

   Read about the background in BBC News Online

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