This is IN THE NEWS in VOA
The earthquake that
shook Japan with historic
strength on Friday created a
tsunami wave ten meters high. The water
washed away boats, cars and houses
in coastal areas
north of Tokyo. It also
led to tsunami
warnings across the
estremeció; strength: fuerza;
tsunami wave: ola marina; washed away: arrastró; coastal areas:
zonas costeras; north of: al norte de; led to: llevó a; warnings:
Scientists recorded the magnitude of the earthquake at 8.9. The United
States Geological Survey says it was the fifth largest earthquake since 1900. The largest, with a 9.5 magnitude, shook Chile in
The quake struck near the east coast of Honshu, Japan's
main island. It was
centered under the sea about 130 kilometers east of Sendai.
The tsunami washed away whole neighborhoods in Sendai.
quake: terremoto (forma
abreviada); main island: la isla principal; east of: al este de;
whole neighborhoods: barrios completos;
President Obama offered whatever assistance Japan needs. He had already
planned to meet with reporters Friday, and began by talking about the
whatever assistance: toda
la ayuda que;
disaster: desastre, catástrofe;
"First and foremost, our thoughts and our
prayers are with the
people of Japan. This is a potentially catastrophic disaster and the images
of destruction and flooding coming out of Japan are simply
first and foremost: primero y
principal; prayers: plegarias; flooding: inundación; heartbreaking:
"Japan is, of course, one of our strongest and closest
allies and this
morning I spoke with Prime Minister [Naoto] Kan.
On behalf of the American
people, I conveyed our deepest condolences, especially to the victims and
their families, and I offered our Japanese friends whatever assistance is
needed. We currently have an aircraft carrier in Japan and another is
allies: aliados; on behalf of: en nombre de; conveyed:
transmití; deepest condolences: más profundas condolencias; currently:
en estos momentos; on its
way: en camino;
Japanese media said the tsunami
carried away a ship carrying one hundred
people. Television images showed a whole community
media: los medios; carried away: arrastró; on fire:
The quake has produced powerful aftershocks. It also
raised concerns about
possible effects on the world's third-largest economy. The economy was the
second largest until China recently moved into that position.
aftershocks: réplicas, temblores secundarios; raised concerns:
Japan was already struggling to rebuild economic
growth and reduce its
budget deficit and government debt.
struggling: esforzándose; growth:
crecimiento; budget deficit: deficit presupuestario;
Japan has invested a lot of
resources in preparing for earthquakes.
the 1995 earthquake in Kobe caused an estimated one hundred
billion dollars in damage.
invertido; resources: recursos; still: a pesar de eso; in damage:
The value of the yen dropped Friday but then recovered.
Japan is the world's third-largest importer of
oil. World prices for oil
fell after the quake. This followed weeks of increases
because of unrest in
the Middle East and North Africa. Oil traders said prices fell because of a
belief that quake damage
will hurt growth in Japan and reduce demand for
oil: petróleo; fell after the quake:
cayeron luego del terremoto; because of unrest: debido a la
intranquilidad; oil traders: los petroleros; belief: creencia; will hurt growth:
afectará el crecimiento;
The quake happened about 370 northeast of
Tokyo. It shook buildings in the capital,
halting all train and subway
traffic and leaving many people unable to get home.
halting: paralizando; unable to: sin
Joruji Shinozaki wrote on the VOA Learning English page on Facebook:
Friday's earthquake was a nightmare. Suddenly the building where I live in
Tokyo shook violently and objects began to fall. I was
so scared because
I've never experienced such a strong quake before in my life.
nightmare: pesadilla; so scared: muy asustado;
Another Facebook user in Japan, Mitsutoshi Sato, wrote: It was a
experience. The blackout
lasted for more than 10 hours around me.
and every one of you in the world
praying for Japan.
experience: experiencia aterradora; blackout: apagón, corte de
luz masivo; lasted for: duró; thank each
and every one of you: agradezco a cada uno de ustedes; praying:
And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember