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[report整理] SENEWS-2011-03-21

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[Homework]SENEWS-2011-03-21

This is the VOA Special English Technology Report.
A powerful earthquake struck the northeastern coast of Japan at two forty-six pm local time on March elventh. Japan's media rheological agency released its first tsunami warnings just three minutes later. The country has one of the best earthquake early-warning systems in the world. There are more than four thousand science-make intensity meters in place throughout Japan to mirror earthquake activity. These meters provide information within two minutes of an earthquake happening.
Information about the strength and the center of the earthquake can be learned within three minutes. There will also concrete sea walls around much of the Japanese coast line. But these measures proved no match for a powerful earthquake and tsunami.
Costas Synolakis is a tsunami expert with a department of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Japan is one of the most well-prepared countries on eath in terms of the tsunami warnings. They had a warning. I think what was wrong is that they had not anticipated the size of this event.
He says there are two reasons for this. Japan has not had any event anywhere near as big as this one in last one hundred fifty years. And scientists had not expected such a large earthquake happening off the coast of Japan. The nine point zero magnitude earthquake was the fourth most powerful earthquake ever recorded worldwide. It was also the worst earthquake ever to hit Japan. The tsunami waves that followed were reported to have reached as high as thirteen in some areas.
Costas Synolakis says Japan's concrete seawalls were not built to handle such high waves.
The concrete seawalls in many places in Japan are about seven meters which is about thirty three feet. In Sendai they were three meters which is about ten feet. So that's so used at least in dead area they were not expecting such size of wave.
A tsunami wave can travel as fast as eight hundred kilometers per hour. To get a higher ground, people would often have to travel several kilometers. This can take more time than a fast traveling tsunami can permit. This is especially true in cases like in Japan where the center of the earthquake struck so closed to the coastline. The tsuname waves followed almost immediately. Experts say early warning systems will continue to be limited by these facts until earthquakes and tsunamis can be predicted.

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