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Words in the News
Monday 05 November 2001
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  Computer image of Hurricane Michelle
Hurricane hits Cuba
Summary: The eye of Hurricane Michelle, the strongest storm to hit Cuba for more than fifty years, has passed over the island and is now heading towards the Bahamas. It has left severe damage caused by winds of two-hundred kilometres per hour and flooding. This report from Daniel Schweimler.
   
The News Listen  
  The eye of Hurricane Michelle has passed over Cuba but the island is still being battered by strong winds and heavy rain. Much of the country, including the capital Havana, is without gas and electricity. Telephone lines are down and the population is being urged to remain in their houses. Reports say that large areas of agricultural land, especially in the west and centre of the country, have been devastated and homes have been damaged. There is also severe flooding, mostly in coastal areas.

But there are few reports of casualties. This is probably thanks to the huge civil defence operation launched by the Cuban authorities over the past few days. More than six-hundred-thousand people were evacuated from vulnerable areas and remain in safe shelters while the damage is assessed and the cleaning-up operation gets under way. There are still no flights, public transport has been suspended and the country remains virtually at a standstill. But, as Hurricane Michelle heads out to sea, Cuba is breathing a tentative sigh of relief. The storm has passed, leaving a trail of destruction, but it does not appear to have been as bad as it could have been.

Daniel Schweimler, BBC News, Havana.

 
   
The Words Listen
 
  the eye of Hurricane Michelle
the centre of the storm, where winds are low, is called the eye

 
   
  battered
hit with great power

 
   
  being urged to
being told or encouraged to do something

 
   
  devastated
very badly damaged

 
   
  casualties
people who are killed or injured

 
   
  evacuated
if you are evacuated, you are sent from one place to another for your own safety

 
   
  vulnerable
not very safe, easily damaged

 
   
  gets under way
is started, begins

 
   
  at a standstill
without any activity, nothing is happening

 
   
  breathing a tentative sigh of relief
an uncertain feeling that the worst is over

 
   
  Read more about this story  
 

Other Words in the News archives

 

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