Spanish Practice Activity: Reading & Listening to News Stories

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  • 0:02 Las Noticias En Espa?ol
  • 1:56 Las Noticias En Chile
  • 5:00 Las Noticias En Puerto Rico
  • 9:03 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: April Schmidt

April has a Ph.D. in Spanish and has taught college-level Spanish for 10+ years.

It's always important to know what's happening around the world. In this lesson, you will be reading two news articles about emergencies and natural disasters in the Spanish-speaking world, as well as answering some questions about the readings.

Las Noticias Español

You've probably seen headlines about natural disasters and emergencies in South America or the Caribbean recently. If you saw these news stories on CNN or Yahoo! News, you were probably reading about them in English. But what if you typed 'cnnespanol' into the address bar or switched the 'country' setting on the Yahoo! page to 'Argentina' or 'Perú'? Well...let's see what happens!

In this lesson, you will be reading a couple of short news articles in Spanish. Your knowledge of vocabulary related to emergencies and natural disasters will help you get the main ideas of these articles. Don't worry if you don't understand every word. If you are getting the drift of the article, you should be able to make an educated guess at any words or phrases you don't know.

¡OJO! These news articles mention various numbers and measurements, such as the number of people that evacuated in Chile or the amount of rain in Puerto Rico. The metric system is used throughout the Spanish-speaking world, so any measurements are given in metric units. Thus, millimeters (milímetros) are used instead of inches, meters (metros) instead of feet, and kilometers (kilómetros) instead of miles. In Hispanic (as well as many other) countries, it is also customary to use commas instead of decimal points and decimal points instead of commas. So 8.2 would be written 8,2 and 1,000 would be written 1.000.

Bueno, ¡leamos las noticias en español!

Las Noticias en Chile

Terremoto de magnitud 8,2 en Chile

Anoche, un terremoto de magnitud 8,2 ocurrió en el extremo norte de Chile. El lugar más afectado fue Iquique, una ciudad de unos 180.000 habitantes. Muros y techos se derrumbaron y varios edificios se destruyeron. El terremoto también causó fuegos en varias partes de la ciudad. Al menos cinco personas murieron y hubo alrededor de 200 heridos. Además, el terremoto causó tsunamis con olas de hasta 2,13 metros. Muchas personas evacuaron de las costas después de la alerta de tsunami. Tuvieron que esperar más de seis horas antes de poder regresar a sus casas.

Bueno, ¡a ver si entendiste bien! Try to answer the following questions. You'll get some hints, but feel free to pause the video or check the reading if you're still not sure of the answer (please see the video starting at 03:15 for the hints).


1) ?Qué tipo de desastre natural hubo?

2) ?Dónde ocurrió el terremoto?

3) ?Qué lugar fue más afectado?

4) ?Qué daño (damage) causó el terremoto?

5) ?Cuántas personas murieron?

6) ?Cuántos heridos hubo?

7) ?Por qué evacuaron muchas personas?

8) ?Por cuánto tiempo tuvieron que esperar antes de poder regresar a sus casas?

Las Noticias en Puerto Rico

El impacto del huracán Irene en Puerto Rico

El 21 de agosto, el huracán Irene tocó tierra en el sureste de Puerto Rico. En muchos lugares, cayeron alrededor de 254 mm de lluvia. También hubo vientos de hasta 178 km/h en las montañas. Los vientos altos derribaron árboles y postes de servicio, dejando a más de 1 millón de personas sin electricidad. Además, alrededor de 121.000 personas no tenían agua potable. Al menos 771 personas tuvieron que ir a los refugios durante la tormenta. Una persona murió cuando una fuerte corriente se llevó su carro. Las lluvias intensas también causaron inundaciones en el sureste de la isla, dañando las plantaciones de bananas y café. El 22 de agosto, el presidente Obama declaró un estado de emergencia para Puerto Rico.

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