Topic: Disaster - English Discussions

灾难话题 - 英语讨论

Typhoons, cyclones, earthquakes… sadly, they happen all too often. This unit is about disasters and how people survive them. In this session, we help you learn the language you need to talk about these events

Typhoon Haiyan was one of the most destructive storms in history.

The statistics speak for themselves. It killed over 6,000 people, six million workers lost their sources of income and 30,000 boats were destroyed. In total, around 15 million people were affected. In many towns and cities over 90% of buildings were ruined, forcing many to live in shelters.

The storm struck on 8 November 2013. It was the most powerful ever to hit land, with heavy rain, winds of over 170 mph and sea levels rising by up to seven metres. At present the Philippines sees around 20 typhoons a year. The IPCC believes that climate change will mean an increase in cyclones, leaving even more people in the region at risk.

The scale of the tragedy also triggered a huge humanitarian response. Charities and aid agencies around the world raised money and delivered aid to populations affected, and volunteers from around the world offered their skills and assistance. Many people were critical of the pace of the Filipino government’s efforts to rebuild communities, though officials said they responded well to their country’s biggest ever logistical challenge.

natural disasters
Typhoon Haiyan was one of the most destructive storms in history.

a very strong wind which moves in a circle in the Western Pacific Ocean

events that cause a lot of harm

a very sad event

causing a lot of damage

places which give protection


miles per hour (speed)

very strong winds which move in circles

at risk
in danger (of)


relating to improving human lives and reducing suffering

organisations people give money to so they can help others

aid agencies
organisations that provide money and help to those suffering

(here) groups of people in a particular situation

people who give their time for free

relating to the careful organisation of things and people to achieve a difficult task

to cope with the situation