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Describe a natural calamity

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 463 with Model Answer:

Describe a natural calamity that is common in your country.

You should say:
  • what it is 
  • how it happens
  • if you have ever witnessed it
and explain how it can be mitigated or controlled.

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


Model Answer 1:

Geographically our country is prone to a few natural calamities, and "cyclone" is perhaps the most common, devastating and fearsome nature-caused disaster that people in our country face. Thank you for the topic and the time. Here, I will describe the cyclone as a natural calamity in our country from my knowledge and experience.

A cyclone is a rotating, organized system of clouds, winds and thunderstorms that originates over tropical or subtropical waters and has closed and low-level circulation. We characterize it by its inward-spiralling winds that rotate about a low-pressure zone. Cyclone is still beyond man's power to be prevented or controlled. It takes only a few minutes to cause irreplaceable losses and damages to life and property. Mostly created on the sea, some cyclones intensify and take the shape of a storm, usually, hundreds of kilometres away from the sea coast. Many such cyclones die down and do not reach the coastal area or the land, but a few, generally, powerful ones, move towards the land while also becoming more powerful. Once it hit the land, it may end up wreaking havoc.

Yes, I have experienced cyclones at least three or four times in my life. However, as a child, I was devastated to witness it first-hand and then notice its bleak aftermath. I hope we can invent reliable technology soon that will help us debilitate cyclones at the source or let us control their intensity and trajectory.

Human is yet to reach the scientific feat and technological advancement to control cyclones. However, we can use the warning system and relevant technology to understand its approach. Timely warnings and evacuation can definitely save lives. Moreover, high-dwelling houses in the coastal area may give safety against cyclones to some extent.


Sample Answer 2:
One natural calamity that is common in our country is flooding. For this topic, I will talk about this natural disaster here.

Flooding occurs when there is an excessive amount of water that overflows and inundates the land, leading to the submerging of houses, infrastructure, and agricultural fields. It is usually caused by heavy rainfall, rapid snowmelt, or the overflow of rivers and dams.

I have personally witnessed several instances of flooding in my country. During the monsoon season, heavy downpours often result in swollen rivers and flash floods. It can be quite devastating to see homes and communities submerged, and people struggling to evacuate and seek shelter.

To mitigate or control flooding, various measures can be taken. Firstly, improving infrastructure such as constructing dams, levees, and flood control channels can help regulate water flow and prevent overflow. Implementing effective drainage systems in urban areas can also help in managing excess water during heavy rainfall.

Additionally, land-use planning plays a crucial role in flood mitigation. Identifying flood-prone areas and implementing zoning regulations can prevent construction in vulnerable zones. Preserving natural water bodies, wetlands, and forests can also aid in absorbing excess water and reducing the impact of floods.

Furthermore, early warning systems and disaster preparedness programs are essential to minimize the loss of life and property during flooding. Educating communities about emergency protocols, and evacuation routes, and providing timely information can save lives and help people cope with such natural disasters.

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