Have you ever been in a natural disaster?
Several people talk about natural disasters they have been in or just missed.
I was in a typhoon in Hong Kong, and I just arrived with a big heavy backpack, and I had to hide in a telephone box while the street flooded and the water came up around me.
Natural disaster? No, I haven't been been in a natural disaster. Unfortunately I was very close to a bomb which went off in Manchester when I was about sixteen years old, which was quite scary, but probably not as scary as a tsunami or a typhoon or something.
Oh, yes, yes. I have been in a natural disaster. I forget what year but Hurricane Yuniki in Hawaii, but I lived on Ohau so we got the eye of the hurricane so it wasn't like harsh at all. In fact, I remember when it hit, I remember telling my parents, I wanted to go out and fly a kite because it looked so nice outside, so it wasn't really that bad of an experience for me.
Yes, I have. I've been in a fire. A really big one actually. It was just very scary. There was just smoke everywhere, and I couldn't see anything. My eyes were hurting. I was choking, and I really thought I was going to die, but I was rescued by an old man passing by.
OK, have I been in a natural disaster? Well, I've actually seen one happen while I was driving, and this was along I think the coast. I think it's called the Pacific Ocean Highway, if I'm not wrong. Anyway, there was in December 2004 I think, it was ... there was a big landslide during a the raining season in Los Angeles, and while I was driving I actually saw it, and then I didn't know what was damaged, but it was all over the news, and then it was bad.
Yeah, actually, I was staying with friends in Norway and we were camping and we got hit by a blizzard and it was really frightening, but luckily I was with some big Viking Norwegian guys, and they knew exactly what to do, because I didn't. It was really ... you couldn't see anything. It was so white and the snow was so heavy and it actually hurt quite a lot, and it didn't help that it was absolutely freezing.
A bomb went off.
When a bomb 'goes off' it explodes. The phrase is used usually to refer to something with a timer. Notice the following samples:
- My alarm clock went off, but I kept on sleeping.
- The police stopped the bomb before it went off.
eye of the hurricane
We got the eye of the hurricane.
A hurricane is a very violent storm, like a typhoon. In the center is it very calm and this is called the eye of the hurricane. Notice the following:
- It is safe in the eye of the hurricane, but dangerous outside it.
- This is just the eye of the storm. Things will get worse again soon.
I was choking.
When you 'choke' you cannot breathe. You can choke on food, smoke or because something is very tight around your neck. Notice the following:
- I almost choked on a piece of chicken.
- My tie was choking me. It was too tight.
all over the news
It was all over the news.
When something is 'all over the news' it takes up a large portion of the news, and it is in all media forms: newspaper, TV news, internet, etc. Notice the following.
- The car accident was all over the news.
- The scandal was all over the news.
it didn't help that ...
It didn't help that is was absolutely freezing.
The phrase 'it didn't help that ... ' is used when talking about a bad experience and something that adds an extra negative aspect to it. Notice the following:
- The traffic was terrible as usual. It didn't help that there was road construction as well.
- My wife was mad because I forgot to get dinner. It didn't help that I was late too.