Natural Disaster

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1. Look at the following list of words. Decide the meaning of each words. Use a
dictionary to help you. Then choose eleven words which you think yu will see in
the text yu are abut to read abut Pompeii
ashes collapse
eruption flood inhabitants lava molten
pyroclastic remains
2. Quickly skim the text about Pompeii. Find and note down the words from the
Exercise 1.

A 17-year-old man from Pompeii, called Plinny the Younger, wote in
a letter that he frst noticed un unusual cloud between two an three
o’clock in the afternoon of 24August AD79. From a distance about 25
kilometers from the volcano, the cloud lookied like a pine tree rising
from a mountain. He could not tell that it was rising from Vesuvius.
Some of the cloud was white, but in other parts there were dark
patches of grey. Therewas no fire shooting out of the mountain- that
came later.
The monstrous smoke clouds dumped debris on Pompeii during the
late afternoon and early evening of 24 August. Dust, ashes, and rocks
fell on the town for about eight hours. Piles of rocks landed on houses
and caused the roofs to collapse, and many buildings began to crack.
Plinny was tghe first person to describe the phenomenon that
scientist now call a Plinnian event. This is a long, ecplosive eruption
which creates a high- altitude column of volcanic material and covers
large areas with ashes. The pine tree effect, described in Plinny’s letter,
is called Plinnian column.
The driving force behind all of this activity is volcanic gas which
pushes hot, molten material from below the Earth’s surface out of the
mountain. What we see first are monstrous clouds of smoke and ash.
However, Pompeii was not destgroyed because f ash and dust. In
fact, human remains found above the ash layers show that people
went back to their homes after the ash had stopped falling. Becauase
they did not understand how to survive in such situation, people
unknowingly placed themselves and their children in the path of death.
Total annihilation occured hours later, when Vesuvius became
pyroclastic. A pyroclastic flow can bury surroundings areas, tirning
beautiful lakes and forest into a moonscape.
A pyroclastic flow first movesinto vallleysand rivers beds. At the
bottom of the volcaboe, it can sweep away or bury anything in its path,
including populated areas. Nothing standing in its way will survive. This
is what happened to Pompeii. The death toll, in Pompeii and all nearly
towns was zabout 16.000. it was one of the deadliest eruptions of all

3. Use the words from exercise 1 to complete the words puzzle if you complete it
correctly, you will find the name of a townnear Pompeii which was also destroyed
by the ruption of Vesuvius

4. Here is part of one of Plinny’ leters
Ashes were already falling, not as yet very quickly. I looked round a
dense black cloud was coming up behind us, spreading over the earth
lie a flood.
‘Let us leave the road while we can still see,’ I said, ‘or we shall be
knocked down in the dark by the crowd behind us.’
We had only just sat down to rest when it became dark, not the dark
of a moonless or cloudy night, but as if the lights had gone out.
Imagine that you are Plinny. What happened next? Use your own ideas and
imagine from this unit to continue the story

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