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Cold Snap Hits Europe

dateline: 07 February 2012

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • cold snap: a sudden occurrence of extreme winter weather
  • disrupt: to cause disorder or to prevent the regular operation of something
  • avalanche: a rush of snow down a mountain or hillside
  • cut off: to no longer provide service
  • fatality: death

Cold Snap Hits Europe

Severe winter conditions that hit Europe last week are to continue for a few more days. Hundreds of homeless people have died, and transportation has been disrupted in both and Western Europe. In Bosnia, officials declared a state of emergency as was cut off from thousands of residents, and cars became trapped in avalanches. Helicopters were sent in to rescue people from remote villages. Rome received the highest snowfall in 25 years, making it almost for people to attend school or work. In Ukraine, where the highest number of fatalities was recorded, night temperatures dipped as low as -33 degrees Celsius. minimal snowfall in London, approximately half of Monday’s flights were cancelled at Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Why are Europeans finding it hard to go to work and school?
  2. Why did Bosnia declare a state of emergency?
  3. What was significant about the precipitation in Rome?

Discussion Question: In Poland, homeless shelters are banned from admitting people who are drunk. This ban was waived during the cold snap. Do you think drunk people should be banned from homeless shelters? Why or why not.

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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.

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