It Shakes Up The Energy And Political World.





Before you read

Fill in the gaps with the words in bold below:

diminishes            affected           impacts         rescue           devastation      

rubble       collapsing           dispatched                   magnitude         quake


In rapid succession during the morning of February 6, Eastern Turkey and its environs were hit by first, a 1. …….. 7.8 earthquake and, then, a magnitude 7.5 2. ……. . Horrific images showing high rise buildings 3. …….. , people trapped under the 4. …….., massive coastal tides, and utter 5. ………. , death, and destruction have been reported by multiple news outlets, as well as on social media.

As of this writing one week later, more than 30,000 deaths have been reported in Turkey and neighboring Syria. That number is expected to rise further – especially among those who were trapped in collapsing buildings where the likelihood of survival 6. …….. rapidly the longer that people remain stuck in the rubble. As noted, however, Turkey was not the only country 7. ……… . While information is more difficult to obtain in other areas, parts of Syria were also badly damaged. Thousands of deaths have been reported in that country as well. Meanwhile, less severe earthquakes, aftershocks, or simple tremors were felt in Lebanon, Israel, Cyprus, Jordan, Iraq, Georgia, and Armenia, if not other countries in the region.

Despite frosty relations between Jerusalem and Ankara over the last twenty years, Israeli search and 8. …….. teams were 9. ……… to Turkey within hours of the second big quake to help out, along with other international teams. Israel also reportedly was asked by Syria, which is probably second only to Turkey in terms of overall 10. ……. from the quakes, if it would like assistance too, notwithstanding an eternal state of war between the two Middle Eastern neighbors. At first, Syria apparently responded positively to Israel’s feelers. Subsequently, however, Syria denied asking Israel for assistance. That situation remains unclear. (…)

To read the whole article/check your answers, go to: https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielmarkind/2023/02/15/turkeys-earthquakes-shake-up-the-energy-and-political-world/?sh=360a893318f6

Key: 1. magnitude; 2. quake; 3. collapsing; 4. rubble; 5. devastation; 6. diminishes; 7. affected; 8. rescue; 9. dispatched; 10. impacts



  • tremor – a slight earthquake
  • aftershock – a small earthquake that echoes or follows a larger one
  • notwithstanding – despite the fact or thing mentioned
  • thaw – the action or process of becoming less hostile
  • semblance – resemblance
  • ossification  – the process of habits or ideas becoming fixed and unable to change


Practice makes perfect

Fill in the gaps with the verbs in brackets in the correct tense (in active or passive voice).


Last week, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake 1. …….. (STRIKE) Turkey and Syria, killing more than thirty thousand people and destroying numerous towns and cities in both countries. A monumental recovery effort is necessary, but neither country 2. ….. well …….. (POSITION) to mount one. For more than a decade, Syria 3. …….. (FIGHT) a brutal civil war 4. ……. (BRING) on by Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorial rule; Turkey, under the Presidency of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has been in economic crisis for the past five years, and is increasingly subject to authoritarianism, (…). There has been extensive criticism within Turkey over the pace of the recovery effort, which 5. ……… (OVERSEE) by the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (afad)—itself run by someone with little experience in the field. Moreover, Erdoğan has been in power for two decades—first as Prime Minister and now as President—during which he 6. …….. (ENCOURAGE) a huge surge in construction alongside shockingly lax enforcement of safety standards.

To understand the connections between Erdoğan’s leadership and the tragedy unfolding in Turkey, I recently spoke by phone with Jenny White, (…) the author of many books about politics, religion, and nationalism in Turkey. During our conversation, which 7. ……. (EDIT) for length and clarity, we discussed how Erdoğan’s governing style and policies 8. …….. (HINDER) the earthquake response, why his approach to Turkey’s Kurdish population 9. ……. (MAKE) the crisis especially dire in Kurdish areas, and what the crisis could mean for Turkey’s upcoming election.

To read the whole article/check your answers, go to: https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/how-erdogan-set-the-stage-for-turkeys-disastrous-earthquake-response


Key: 1. struck; 2. is (well) positioned; 3. has been fighting; 4. brought; 5. is being overseen; 6. has encouraged; 7. has been edited; 8. have hindered; 9. has made





  • Have you ever experienced an earthquake or tremor?
  • Do you think an earthquake is the world’s scariest natural disaster?
  • Do you know where the emergency shelters are in your town?
  • Do you think scientists will one day be able to make totally earthquake-proof buildings?


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