10. The Big One





Gap-fill exercise

Fill in all the gaps, then press "Check" to check your answers. Use the "Hint" button to get a free letter if you don't remember the word. Note that you will lose points if you ask for hints or clues!


According to geologists, a huge earthquake will probably California within the next 20 years. If it a populated area, the number of deaths will exceed the 1,070 deaths caused by Hurricane Katrina Louisiana.

Three California quakes between 1987 and 1994 more than 100 people and caused billions of in damage. From 1994 to 2000, the state several billion dollars reinforcing bridges, overpasses, and buildings. budget problems have halted these repairs. Today, more 1,000 schools and hospitals—not to mention thousands of government and private structures—throughout the state do not earthquake standards. Many of these buildings will collapse a house of cards if they are in immediate area of a quake.

As usual, the is between a rock and a hard place. schools use their budgets to reinforce their buildings, will have little money for teachers. Classes will discontinued. Everyone’s priority, of course, is to keep schools open.

“All we’re doing is crossing our ,” said a state legislator. “But that’s exactly what did in Louisiana. They could have fixed the system for about $10 billion. But they didn't; just crossed their fingers. Now it’s now going cost $100 billion to rebuild New Orleans. Here California, we’re saying that we can’t afford the billion. But where are we going to get $100 billion to rebuild everything afterward? People never . They always close the barn door after the escapes.”