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Earthquakes may rightly be ranked as one of the most destructive forces known to man: since records began to be written down, it has been estimated that earthquake-related fatalities have numbered in the millions, and that earthquake-related destruction has been beyond calculation. The greater part of such damage and loss of life has been due to collapse of buildings and the effects of rockslides, floods, fire, disease, tsunamis (gigantic sea waves), and other observable events resulting from earthquakes, rather than from the quake themselves.

The great majority of all earthquakes occur in two specific geographic areas. One such area covers the Pacific Ocean and its bordering landmasses. The other extends from the East Indians to the Atlas Mountains, including the Himalayas, Iran, Turkey, and the Alpine regions. It is in these two great belts or zones that ninety percent of all earthquakes take place; they may, however, happen anywhere at any time.

This element of the unknown has for centuries added greatly to the dread and horror surrounding earthquakes, but in recent times there have been indications that earthquake forecast may be possible. By analyzing changes in animal behavior, patterns of movements in the earth‟s shell, variations in the earth‟s force of attraction, and the frequency with which minor earth shakes are observed, scientists have shown increasing success in expecting when and where earthquakes will strike. As a result, a worldwide earthquake warning network is already in operation and has helped to prepare for (and thus lessen) the vast destruction that might otherwise have been totally unexpected.

It is doubtful that man will ever be able to control earthquakes and get rid of their destructiveness altogether, but as how and why earthquakes happen become better

understood, man will become more and more able to deal with their possible damage before they occur.

1.Which of the following statements is true according to the passage?

A. Earthquake destruction is declining

B. Earthquake forecast is improving

C. Man is no longer fearful of earthquakes.

D. Man is capable of conquering earthquakes

2.We can infer from the passage that quakes __________.

A. may happen anywhere at any time

B. mostly strike in oceans and mountains

C. are unobservable in masses of land

D. are hardly the direct cause of fatalities

3.The phrase “this element of the unknown” (Paragraph 3) refers to ___________.

A. the extension of earthquake zones

B. the percentage of earthquake occurrences

C. when and where earthquakes may occur

D. what big damage earthquakes may cause

4.Man‟s research on earthquake forecast at present is to ____________.

A. reduce the loss from earthquake disasters

B. lower the frequency of earthquakes

C. release the energy that causes earthquakes

D. analyze the relationship between different earthquakes

5. Which of the following describes the author‟s purpose in writing the passage?

A. Inform. the reader

B. Entertain the reader

C. Disprove a concept

D. Question a concept

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