About the passage
A. Read to understand
1. Answer the questions
a) Why was the ice melting?
Nevado Del Ruiz, a snowcapped volcanic peak exploded on the northeast side
expelling out a large amount of volcanic ash, the tremendous heat from the
crater led to the melting of the snowcap or the ice covering.
b)Why were the people of Armero not really concerned when the smell
of the sulphur was strong?
people of Armero were not really concerned when the smell of sulphur was strong
as they were inclined to believe the announcement made by the Emergency
Committee. Member of the emergency committee assured the town people that there
was no reason to be anxious and advised the people to stay calmly indoors and
use a damp handkerchief.
c)Why was it difficult to save the people stuck in the morass?
Survivors of the tragedy were crying out for help. Those on the edge of morass
were trying hard to reach those nearby. Some ventured into the muck but had to
retreat as they began to be sucked down. Rescuers tried to drive a truck for
help but unfortunately, it too was sucked under, it was really difficult to rescue
2. Match the series of event with the times they happened.
a) Wednesday afternoon-smell of sulphur in the air.
b) Wednesday 7:30 pm –rain starts
c) Wednesday 9 pm –volcano erupts
d) Wednesday around 10 pm –avalanche reaches the valley
e) Wednesday 10:13 pm –radio announcement by the mayor
f) Wednesday around midnight-Armero is buried under a massive avalanche of mud,
ice and lava
g) Thursday morning-news of natural disaster on the radio
3. Answer these questions with reference to the context.
1.”The people were urged to remain calm, to stay indoors and
to cover their faces with a damp handkerchief.”
i)Who urged the people to remain calm?
Members of the Emergency Committee for Civil Defense assured the people that
there was no reason to be anxious and urged them to remain calmly indoors and
use a handkerchief.
ii)Why were the people urged to remain calm?
Wednesday afternoon the smell of sulphur had been strong in the air, ashes
began to fall which caused a little alarm and an uneasy situation. The town
people were asked to remain calm, to stay indoors and to cover faces with a damp
handkerchief by the member of the emergency committee as they attended early
evening masses and were assured there was no reason for the alarm and
everything was okay.
iii)What happened after the announcement was made?
After the member of emergency committee made an announcement that there were no
reasons to be anxious, a panic situation occurred. Around 7:30, sudden
torrential rain began to fall in Armero a town in Colombia and then suddenly
stopped. It was followed by a strange fallout a fine warm and which soon
covered the streets and the rooftops of the houses. It was quite unusual. The
residents of Armero were quite troubled and worried about the crisis situation.
Looking at the rooftop many ran away to the higher ground for survival. But the
majority stays back.
2.”Frantically they called their children and other family
members out of bed. The lights suddenly went out.”
i)Who are ‘they’ in these sentences?
‘They’ here refers to the residents of Armero, a town in Colombia.
ii)Why were they asking their children’s and family members to get
out of bed?
mayor of Armero interrupted a radio program exclaiming that the water was
almost in the town of Armero. Many of the people were awakened by the heavy
rain of sand on the roof and others by the noise and shouting outside. Worried
of the vulnerable situation they were frantically calling their children and
family members out of bed so that they could run and get their life saved.
iii)What were they trying to run from? What happened after the
lights went off?
town people of Armero were running from the rain of sand which soon covered the
rooftops and streets of Armero, for survival.
total panic. People started banging and kicking on doors. Thousands rushed out
of their home. Vehicles raced madly through the streets, blowing their horns,
headless of people in their way. Many ran down before the wall of mud stuck. In
the darkness, the churning mass swept straight down through the centre of
houses. Everything was engulfed and swiftly carried away.
B. Read to infer.
1. Why were the people inclined to believe the announcement by the
town of Armero was in a pathetic condition. The approaching avalanche was
making a terrifying noise. It caused a terrifying situation, people were
worried and were feeling helpless. The town people were in such a stage that
they were inclined to believe the announcement made by the Emergency Committee.
They were trusting and cooperating with them to stay back at home with a hope
to get saved. The committee assured that there was no reason to be anxious.
2. After the strange occurrence of fall, some people fled to higher
town people were cooperating with the committee to remain at home. But sudden
torrential rain of sand caused a terrifying situation. Rain of sand began to
fall and stopped, followed by a strange fallout. The sand-covered almost every
rooftops and street of Armero. Such a panic situation made the people feel
uneasy, they fled to higher ground with hope for survival. They were helpless
and could barely think something for survival.
3. How were the people of Armero lulled into a false sense of
security? Give two reasons.
people of Armero were under false guidance. Trusting the announcement and guidelines
of Emergency Committee led them to face death. The member of the committee gave
wrong and false pieces of information to the town people, they assured that
there was nothing to worry about. They advised the people to stay calm and
remain indoors in such a terrifying situation.
4. Was nature alone responsible for the loss of lives ? Give a
nature alone was not responsible for the loss of lives.
nature, the Emergency Committee played a very crucial role for such a terrible
outcome. The people of Armero were completely under false guidance of the
committee. People might have got saved if they would have fled away the very
last evening. The committee assured that there was no reason to worry, trusting
the committee many choose to stay back at home and later faced death. The
people were hanged between life and death. There were much loss of lives.
1. Some people fled the town when the sound drizzle started. How do
you think they would have felt that night?
Mentally the town people of Armero were completely devastated, they were in a
traumatic State of mind extremely stressed for their family. They were in such
a vulnerable stage where they were completely confused about what would save
their life. People were feeling so uneasy after the sand rain that they frantically
started running for survival. They were normal people in an abnormal situation.
Many choose to stay back, having no idea of what was going to happen the very
2.Of the majority who stayed, who do you think had greater chances
a) The people who left their house
b)Those who needed the advice to remain calm and stay indoor.
Give reasons for your answer.
people who choose to run away had got higher chances of survival. Trusting and
heading according to the advice of the Emergency Committee, to stay back home
in such a crisis situation was no less than an act of foolishness. The town
people relied on security, whereas the committee kept the town people under a
false sense of security. Besides nature, the member of the committee was also
responsible for the loss of lives and for such a vulnerable outcome.