1) What is a natural disaster? What are some kinds of natural disasters?
2) What are some examples of non-natural disasters?
3) Have there been any disasters in your area? What do you know of the Chernobyl incident?
4) Do you worry about the safety of the food you eat? What won’t you buy?
Japanese PM: Situation Improving Despite Nuclear Rating (April 13th, 2011)
The Japanese government has designated the nuclear accident at level seven – the highest rating on the nuclear incident scale. The nuclear crisis in Japan is now at the same level as the 1986 disaster at Chernobyl.
Despite this announcement, Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan said the situation is stabilizing. Workers at the Fukushima-Daiichi say that powerful aftershocks are hampering efforts to repair the systems. On a positive note, operators have reported no signs of damage from the most recent quakes.
China has voiced concern over Japan’s recent decision to dump nuclear wastewater from their plant into the Pacific Ocean. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao demanded the Japanese government take into consideration the impact the radioactive water might have on the ocean environment.
Japanese officials have stressed the radiation levels in Japan are only one-tenth of those of Chernobyl. Furthermore, unlike the Chernobyl disaster that killed roughly two dozen people within days and thousands more over ensuing years, Japanese officials believe there is no direct health hazard in Japan. Prime Minister Kan has assured his public that the situation is improving “one step at a time”. He urged citizens to support the areas affected by the disaster by purchasing their products instead of refraining from buying them. Kan also stated that the crisis is an opportunity for the Japanese to use their determination to rebuild the country in a new and improved way, much like how the nation was rebuilt after World War II. [Words: 241]