Every October, carved pumpkins peer out from porches and doorsteps in
the United States and other parts of the world.Gourd-like orange fruits
inscribed with ghoulish faces and illuminated by candles are a sure sign
of the Halloween season. The practice of decorating
“jack-o’-lanterns”—the name comes from an Irish folktale about a man
named Stingy Jack—originated in Ireland, where large turnips and
potatoes served as an early canvas. Irish immigrants brought the
tradition to America, home of the pumpkin, and it became an integral
part of Halloween festivities. (SOURCE: http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/jack-olantern-history)
Here is a reading comprehension worksheet based on an article about the history of the jack-o'-lantern and the legend of "Stingy Jack".
At least 30 people are believed to have died near the peak of a volcano in central Japan that erupted without warning on Saturday, trapping scores of amateur climbers and covering a wide area with thick ash. (The Guardian , Sunday 28 September)
At least 30 hikers are feared dead in Japan after being found at a lifeless state near the peak of a volcano that erupted a day earlier.
Japanese authorities never confirm death until after a medical examination.
Others were injured or are missing.
This amateur video was taken inside a mountain hut as people took shelter from volcanic ash and rocks.
Hundreds of people including children were stranded on Mount Ontake,
some 200 kilometres west of Tokyo, after it suddenly erupted on
Smoke and ash was flung hundreds of metres into the sky, and several kilometres down the slope of the volcano.
More than 500 emergency staff including the military resumed their
work on Sunday morning, helping stranded victims and looking for those
“The volcanic rocks fell like hailstones,” he says. “We couldn’t breathe so we
covered our mouths with towels. We couldn’t open our eyes either.”
At one stage on Saturday some 250 hikers were stranded on the mountain but most managed to make it down by nightfall.
More than 30 people spent the night in mountain huts, most of whom came down on Sunday morning.
Volcanoes erupt periodically in Japan but until this weekend no one had died for more than twenty years.
Residents face destroyed homes in Serbia's waterlogged Obrenovac
May 19 - Residents in Obrenovac, Serbia, examine the damage to their
homes after devastating floods in the Balkans leave tens of thousands
displaced and brace for more floodwaters. Mana Rabiee reports.
If an area is waterlogged, it is filled or soaked with water. e.g. They couldn't play because the pitch was waterlogged.
If you are bracing for something, you are getting ready for something difficult or unpleasant. e.g. The town is bracing for a busy tourist season.
When people are evacuated, they are moved from a place of danger to a safer place. e.g. During World War II, children were evacuatedfrom London to the country.
Displacement is the act of forcing people or animals to leave the area where they live. e.g. The war has caused the displacementof thousands of people.
A swollen river contains more water than normal as a result of heavy rain.