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Describe a natural calamity that you fear

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 306 with Model Answer:

Describe a natural calamity that you fear or you are afraid of.

You should say:
  • what it is
  • why you fear it
  • how it affects people’s lives
and explain how you think the damage of it could be reduced.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer:
We often fall victim to natural calamities, and many of us are afraid of such natural catastrophes that can wreak havoc. Personally, I fear earthquakes as I have seen the devastating impacts of the earthquake at an early age.

An earthquake is a natural disaster that may occur at any time and claim lives and damage properties on a large scale. In my country, I think earthquakes are more frequent than any other natural disaster. When it appears with a high magnitude, it damages properties and ends people's life to an extent that could be apocalyptic.

And, I am afraid of this natural disaster because I have personally experienced the devastations of an earthquake and have seen how damaging the aftermaths of it could be. I learned that it can destroy a town and city within just a few seconds. I was afraid of my life and my parents were afraid of my life as well as theirs when all of a sudden an earthquake hit our town in the middle of a night almost 14 years ago. The fear ingrained in my young mind, and the thought of an earthquake, even today, gives me a mortifying feeling.  

A small scale earthquake is often unnoticed by ordinary people while a medium scale one can scare them to death. And when a large scale earthquake takes place, it shattered the affected area and the result is pure destruction. For instance, the 2001 Gujarat earthquake had just 7.7 magnitudes and yet it killed as many as 20 thousand people, injured another 167,000 people and destroyed nearly 340,000 buildings. Earthquakes dislocate millions of people, destroys their livelihood, kills their cattle, destroy their houses and make them destitute. Even it takes months to remove the debris and bring out the dead bodies. The earthquake in Nepal in 2015, for instance, killed almost 9,000 people and the damages were unfathomable. It took years for the nation to recover from the losses.

I am not an earthquake specialist, so, I will give you some general ideas about how to decrease the damages caused by an earthquake. First, I think an earthquake-resistant building code should be followed while building any new construction. The scientific community, on the other hand, should be able to predict the exact time and location of the possibility of an earthquake so that people could be relocated to a safer area before the earthquake hit. Finally, trained and well-equipped professional rescuers and volunteers should be ready to conduct the rescue work in earthquake-prone areas.

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