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Week in Review – Bombardment in Syria and Volcano erupts in Indonesia

Bombardment in Syria

The Syrian government has killed scores of civilians by raining down bombs on the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta, an area outside Damascus. 470 people have been injured according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. At least 100 civilians died including 20 children. This would make it the deadliest day for the district since it came under siege. The rebels responded to the bombardment with mortar attacks on Damascus.

Eastern Ghouta is the last remaining opposition-held enclave near the capital. It is completely surrounded by government-controlled areas. The district received its first aid delivery in almost three months. What is more, the bombs did not only hit people but important buildings as well. Bakeries, warehouses and anything else that may hold food supplies were targeted. The same goes for roads which means help cannot get through to Ghouta.

Furthermore, the death toll is rising as hospitals and other medical facilities were hit as well. In December last year the conditions for civilians were already at a critical point as food, fuel and medicine were on the point of running out. Next month it will be seven years since the conflict in Syria started. An estimate 5 million people have fled the country and hundreds of thousands of people have been killed.

score (skɔ:ʳ) – Anzahl, Nummer
according (əˈkɔ:dɪŋ) – zufolge, laut
observatory (əbˈzɜ:vətri) – die Beobachtungsstelle, das Observatorium
siege (si:ʤ) – die Belagerung
mortar attack (ˈmɔ:təʳ əˈtæk) – der Minenwerfer
remaining (rɪˈmnɪŋ) – übrig, restlich<
to surround (səˈrnd) – etw/jdn umgeben, einkreisen
to receive (rɪˈsi:v) – etw bekommen, erhalten
aid delivery (eɪd dɪˈlɪvəri) – die Hilfeleistung
bakery (ˈbkəri) – die Bäckerei
warehouse (ˈwhs) – das Lagerhaus, die Halle
food supply (fu:d səˈpl) – die Nahrungsmittelversorgung
death toll (deθ təʊl) – die Todesrate, die Todeszahl
fuel (ˈfju:əl) – der Brennstoff, Benzin
estimate (ˈestɪmt) – geschätzt

Volcano erupts in Indonesia

Mount Sinabung in Indonesia has erupted once again shooting plumes of smoke and hot ashes over 23,000 feet (7km) in the air. The volcano has not been active for a few centuries until 2010. It was the biggest eruption this year and flight warnings have been on the highest level on Sumatra Island. Areas around the crater of the volcano have been off limits for years now because of frequent volcanic activities.

A huge ash cloud was moving from Sinabung to the north, northwest and south-southeast. They upgraded the Volcanic Observatory Notice for aviation to red – the highest warning. The mixture of crushed rocks, gases and tiny shards of glass in an ash cloud can sandblast a plane´s exterior, melt onto the engine or fry key navigational and communication systems. An ash cloud can travel thousands of km away from the volcano itself.

The eruption was accompanied by multiple earthquakes and the surrounding villages were showered with small rocks. Furthermore, it turned dark as night due to the ash cloud and visibility went down to about five metres. But fortunately there were no casualties and on Tuesday it was confirmed that the ash cloud had been blown apart.

plume (plu:m) – die Rauchwolke, Dunstglocke
ash (æʃ) – die Asche
century (ˈsen(t)ʃəri) – das Jahrhundert
off limits (ɒf ˈlɪmɪtz) – verboten, tabu
frequent (ˈfri:kwənt) – häuft, regelmäßig
huge (hju:ʤ) – riesig, gewaltig
to upgrade (ʌpˈgrd) – tw verbessern, erweitern, nachrüsten
to crush (krʌʃ) – etw zerquetschen, zerdrücken
tiny (ˈtni) – winzig, klitzeklein
shard (ʃɑ:d) – die Scherbe, Splitter
to sandblast (sændblɑ:st) – etw sandstrahlen, abstrahlen
exterior (ɪkˈstɪəriəʳ) – das Äußere
to melt (melt) – etw schmelzen
engine (ˈenʤɪn) – die Mschine, der Motor
to fry (fr) – hier: etw schmoren, kurzschließen
to accompany (əˈkʌmpəni) – jdn begleiten
to shower (ˈʃəʳ) – schauern, niederregnen
rock (rɒk) – der Stein, Felsen
visibility (ˌvɪsəˈbɪləti) – die Sichtweite, Sichtbarkeit
fortunately (ˈfɔ:ənətli) – zum Glück
casualty (ˈkæʒjlti) – das Unfallopfer, Verletzte(r)