A massive volcanic eruption and tsunami hit Tonga, an island nation in the Pacific ocean. At the moment it has been difficult to get news from Tonga due to the aftermath of these events.

New Zealand have sent a plane there to look at the damage. Charities and aid agencies are planning to help, with the fear that there is a lot of people without water or places to sleep.

Rob and Roy discuss this news story and teach you some related vocabulary so you can talk about it too.

Video chapters:
0:00​​​​​​​​​​ – Introduction
0:33 – Story
1:50 – Headline 1: Tsunami threat recedes and casualty reports are yet to come in as Tonga remains cut off
4:58 – Headline 2: Australia, New Zealand step up efforts to aid tsunami-hit Tonga
7:10 – Headline 3: ‘Cluster’ of eruptions expected, Tonga communications ‘go dark’ following tsunami
9:46 – Language summary

cut off
isolated; unable to be contacted

  • When the storm damaged the phone lines, houses in the area were cut off.
  • The snowstorm cut off contact with the village for several days.

step up
increase intensity of something

  • We need to step up our efforts to get this project finished on time.
  • Security has been stepped up after a threat was made against the celebrity.

go dark
stop communications, especially for a long time

  • After the recent advertising scandal, the company went dark and stopped using social media for a while.
  • The secret agent was worried her cover had been blown and went dark.

To download the audio and a transcript and test your understanding, go to our website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/course/newsreview-2022/unit-1/session-2

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