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Worldwide problems August 11th, 2009 by Mind Map: Worldwide problems
August 11th, 2009
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Worldwide problems August 11th, 2009


Disaster (n)

a sudden event such as a flood, storm, or accident which causes great damage or suffering, air disaster, One hundred and twenty people died in China's worst air disaster, nuclear disaster, the economic consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, natural disaster, The 1987 hurricane was the worst natural disaster to hit England for decades., ecological/environmental disaster, on the brink of disaster, The peace process was on the brink of disaster ., prevent/avert a disaster, Luckily the pilot saw the other plane just in time, and a disaster was narrowly averted, disaster strikes, Disaster struck when two men were killed during their parachute jumps.

something that is very bad or a failure, especially when this is very annoying or disappointing, sth is a complete/total disaster, Because of the weather, the parade was a total disaster., disaster for, The cuts in funding will be a disaster for the schools.

catastrophe (n)

a terrible event in which there is a lot of destruction, suffering, or death, environmental/nuclear/economic etc catastrophe, The Black Sea is facing ecological catastrophe as a result of pollution., prevent/avert a catastrophe, Sudan requires food immediately to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.

an event which is very bad for the people involved, catastrophe for, If the contract is cancelled, it'll be a catastrophe for everyone concerned., catastrophic (adj), The failure of the talks could have catastrophic consequences

catastrophe (n) - catastrophic (adj) - catastrophically (adv)

tragedy (n)

a very sad event, that shocks people because it involves death, tragedy strike, Tragedy struck the family when their three-year-old son was hit by a car and killed., It's tragedy that, It's a tragedy that she died so young., end in tragedy, The whole affair ended in tragedy, Investigators are searching the wreckage of the plane to try to find the cause of the tragedy.

a serious play with a sad ending, especially one in which the main character dies; plays of this type, Shakespeare's tragedies, Greek tragedy, tragedy >< comedy

tragedy (n) - tragic (adj) - tragically (adv)

storm (n)

a period of very bad weather when there is a lot of rain or snow, strong winds, and often lightning, fierce / heavy / violent storms, thunderstorm, a night-time thunderstorm, storm strikes, Twenty people were killed when storms struck the Mid-West., storm break, The storm broke (=suddenly started) at five o'clock.

(in compounds) very bad weather of the type mentioned, a snowstorm / sandstorm

a situation in which people suddenly express very strong feelings about something that someone has said or done, political storm, The governor found himself at the center of a political storm, storm of protest/abuse/criticism etc, Government plans for hospital closures provoked a storm of protest.

hurricane (n)

a storm that has very strong fast winds and that moves over water, Many casualties occurred during the hurricane, Hurricane Betty is now approaching the coast of Florida, injure (people), damage (thing), 200 peoples were injured and dozens of buildings were damaged in the hurricane

tornado (n)

A tornado is a violent wind storm consisting of a tall column of air which spins round very fast and causes a lot of damage, a tornado sweep through, a tornado swept through the islands yesterday, Tornadoes ripped into the southern United States yesterday, The tornado claimed dozens of lives, Tornado API is discussed in detail

cyclone (n)

a violent tropical storm in which strong winds move in a circle, The cyclone struck the village late last night, A cyclone in the tropics is caused by a smaller area of low pressure

typhoon (n)

a violent tropical storm with very strong winds, The typhoon inflicted severe damage on the island, The typhoon is gathering strength, A typhoon blustered over the land, A typhoon in 1954 sank a ferry, drowning 1,218 people


flood (n), a large amount of water covering an area that is usually dry, The heavy rain has caused floods in many parts of the country., The river is in flood, flood water / damage, flood warning, Police have issued flood warnings for Nevada, flood victims, an appeal to help flood victims

flood (v), if a place floods or sth floods it, it becomes filled or covered with water, Towns and cities all over the country have been flooded.

Tsunami (n)

A tsunami is a very large wave, often caused by an earthquake, that flows onto the land and destroys things., International Tsunami Warning System, Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, Despite an exciting climax to2005, the year got off to a gloomy start due to the tsunami tragedy which claimed 230,000 lives in South Asia

Tsunami = tidal wave

drought (n)

a long period of time when there is little or no rain, suffer drought, the area is suffering its worst drought for many years, hit by drought, The country's entire grain harvest has been hit by drought, two years of severe drought, one of the worst droughts on record

volcano (n)

a mountain with a large hole at the top, through which lava (=very hot liquid rock) is sometimes forced out, an active volcano, An active volcano may erupt at any time, a dormant volcano (= one that is not active at present), an extinct volcano (= one that is no longer active), volcano erupt, A volcano has erupted in Indonesia, hundreds are fear dead

volcanic (adj), volcanic rocks / eruptions / ash, Over 200 people have been killed by volcanic eruptions, volcanic activity

earthquake (n)

a sudden shaking of the earth's surface that often causes a lot of damage, earthquake shake, a big earthquake shook the city at noon today, earthquake strike, An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale struck southern California on June 28.

seismic (adj), seismic data / waves

explosion (n)

a loud sound and the energy produced by something such as a bomb bursting into small pieces, bomb/gas/nuclear explosion, Several people were injured in a bomb explosion., loud explosion, We heard a loud explosion, huge/massive etc explosion, A massive explosion ripped through the building.

a large, sudden or rapid increase in the amount or number of sth, a population explosion, the population explosion in India, explosion of, an explosion of interest in learning Japanese, an explosion in oil prices

explosion (n) - explode (v) - explosive (adj, n) - unexploded (adj)

war (n)

when there is fighting between two or more countries or between opposing groups within a country, involving large numbers of soldiers and weapons, America's defeat in the Vietnam War, war against/with/between, the war with Spain, winning the war, They had no chance of winning the war ., fight the war (country), Britain fought two wars in Europe in the last century, fight in the war (people), My grandfather fought in the Second World War, be at war (with sb), In 1920 Poland and Russia were still at war, go to war (with sb), The government does not want to go to war (= start a war) unless all other alternatives have failed, declare war, Congress has the power to declare war ., break out, War broke out in September 1939., the outbreak of war, His career was interrupted by the outbreak of war, civil war, the American Civil War, nuclear war, the threat of (a) nuclear war, the war years, He had spent the war years in Moscow., during the war, Her husband was killed during the war, the Second World War, a war widow / hero

a situation in which there is aggressive competition between groups, companies, countries, etc:, trade war, No one wants to start a trade war here., price war, All the large supermarket chains are currently locked in a price war

a struggle over a long period of time to control something harmful, war on/against, The government has declared war on drug dealers, War on Terror, the war against racism / crime

accident (n)

an unpleasant event, especially in a vehicle, that happens unexpectedly and causes injury or damage, a car / road / traffic accident, Over 70,000 people are killed or seriously injured every year in road accidents., a serious / minor / fatal / tragic accident, a fatal accident on the freeway, He was killed in an accident, One in seven accidents is caused by sleepy drivers, The accident happened at 3 p.m., a climbing / riding accident, the hospital accident and emergency department

something that happens unexpectedly and is not planned in advance, it was an accident, I'm sorry about breaking the vase - it was an accident (=I did not intend to do it), Their early arrival was just an accident, It is no accident that, It is no accident that men fill most of the top jobs in nursing, an accident of birth / fate / history (= describing facts and events that are due to chance or circumstances)

accident (n) - accidental (adj) - accidentally (adv)


crash (v), to have an accident in a car, plane etc by violently hitting something else, crash into/onto etc, The plane crashed into a mountain., crash a car/bus/plane etc, He was drunk when he crashed the car.

crash (n), an accident in which a vehicle violently hits something else, plane/car etc crash, 41 people were killed in the plane crash, fatal crash, head-on crash, a head-on crash between two trains, crash victim

collision (n)

an accident in which two or more people or vehicles hit each other while moving in different directions, collision with, The school bus was involved in a collision with a truck., head-on collision, Two people were killed in a head-on collision on highway 218

a strong disagreement between two people or groups, collision between, a collision between the two countries over fishing rights

collide (v), to hit something or someone that is moving in a different direction from you, A car and a van collided on the motorway., collide with, I ran around the corner, and almost collided with Mrs Laurence, collide head-on, Two trains collided head-on, to disagree strongly with a person or group, especially on a particular subject, collide with, The President has again collided with Congress over his budget plans.

pile-up (n)

a road accident involving several vehicles crashing into each other:, Three people died in a multiple pile-up in freezing fog.

famine (n)

a situation in which a large number of people have little or no food for a long time and many people die, severe/widespread famine, the threat of widespread famine in Africa, face famine, A million people are facing famine

starve (v), to suffer or die because you do not have enough food to eat; to make sb suffer or die in this way, starve to death, The animals were left to starve to death., millions are starving as a result of the famine, pictures of starving children, She's starving herself to try to lose weight, starve (v) - starvation (n)

hunger (n), lack of food, especially for a long period of time, that can cause illness or death, die of/from hunger, Thousands of people are dying from hunger every day., a strong need or desire for something, hunger for, her hunger for knowledge, a hunger for success

epidemic (n)

a large number of cases of a disease that happen at the same time, flu epidemic, Over 500 people died during last year's flu epidemic., the outbreak of a flu epidemic, epidemic of, an epidemic of measles, epidemic spread, The flu epidemic spread rapidly throughout the country.

sudden increase in the number of times that something bad happens, epidemic of, Britain is suffering an epidemic of petty crime

pandemic (n)

a disease that affects people over a very large area or the whole world, the AIDS pandemic

pandemic (n) - pandemic (adj)

endemic (adj)

an endemic disease or problem is always present in a particular place, or among a particular group of people, endemic (in, to,...), Malaria is endemic in many hot countries., Corruption is endemic in the system, the endemic problem of racism

Diseases, epidemics and pandemics

Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

People with ADHD have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (might act without thinking about what the result will be), and in some cases, are overly active


Rheumatoid arthritis

a disease that causes the joints of your body to become swollen and very painful


Asthma is a disease that affects your lungs. It causes repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and nighttime or early morning coughing


a mental condition in which a person is unable to communicate or form relationships with others, autistic behaviour / children

Avian Influenza

Avian influenza virus usually refers to influenza A viruses found chiefly in birds, but infections can occur in humans. The risk is generally low to most people, because the viruses do not usually infect humans. However, confirmed cases of human infection have been reported since 1997.…

Birth Defects

Birth defects affect about one in every 33 babies born in the United States each year. They are the leading cause of infant deaths, accounting for more than 20% of all infant deaths. Babies born with birth defects have a greater chance of illness and long term disability than babies without birth defects.


a serious disease in which growths of cells, also called cancers, form in the body and kill normal body cells. The disease often causes death, lung/breast/stomach etc cancer, Smoking causes lung cancer, cancer of, cancer of the womb, have cancer, She was told last year that she had cancer, cancer cells, a new treatment which effectively kills cancer cells, The cancer has spread to his stomach, Most skin cancers are completely curable


Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, which can damage a woman's reproductive organs. Even though symptoms of chlamydia are usually mild or absent, serious complications that cause irreversible damage, including infertility, can occur "silently" before a woman ever recognizes a problem. Chlamydia also can cause discharge from the penis of an infected man

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is an illness that is thought to be caused by a virus, and which affects people for a long period of time. Its symptoms include tiredness and aching muscles. The abbreviation CFS is often used.


a medical condition caused by a lack of INSULIN, which makes the patient produce a lot of URINE and feel very thirsty


a disorder of the nervous system that causes a person to become unconscious suddenly, often with violent movements of the body

Flu (Influenza)

an infectious disease like a very bad cold, that causes fever, pains and weakness

Heart Disease

an illness which prevents your heart from working normally


a serious disease of the LIVER. There are three main forms: hepatitis A (the least serious, caused by infected food), hepatitis B and hepatitis C (both very serious and caused by infected blood)

HIV/AIDS - Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

AIDS is a disease which destroys the natural system of protection that the body has against other diseases, human immunodeficiency virus - HIV, Aids research / education / victims, the AIDS virus, Aids sufferers, to be infected with HIV, to be HIV positive / negative, HIV infection, AIDS, the last stage of HIV infection, HIV transmission, It can be stated that sexual intercourse is the major route of HIV transmission., He developed full-blown Aids five years after contracting HIV


a serious disease in which the tissues enclosing the brain and SPINAL CORD become infected and swollen, causing severe HEADACHE, fever and sometimes death


when someone is very fat in a way that is unhealthy, Smoking, lack of exercise, obesity and diet have been suggested causes

Stroke (n)

a sudden serious illness when a blood VESSEL (= tube) in the brain bursts or is blocked, which can cause death or the loss of the ability to move or to speak clearly, The stroke left him partly paralysed., to have / suffer a stroke

Tuberculosis (n)

a serious infectious disease in which swellings appear on the lungs and other parts of the body, a tubercular infection / lung

malaria (n)

a disease that causes fever and SHIVERING (= shaking of the body) caused by the bite of some types of MOSQUITO, malarial insects / patients / regions

words for people involved in disasters/tragedies

casualty (n)

someone who is hurt or killed in an accident or war, road casualties, Our aim is to reduce road casualties, heavy casualties, Both sides had suffered heavy casualties, cause/inflict casualties, The rebels claim to have inflicted heavy casualties

someone or something that suffers as a result of a particular event or situation, a casualty of, She became a casualty of the reduction in part-time work, Small shops have been a casualty of the recession.

The explosion/typhoon/flood resulted in 300 cusualties

victim (n)

a person who has been attacked, injured or killed as the result of a crime, a disease, an accident, murder / rape victims, Most homicide victims are under 30, accident / earthquake / famine victims, a massive aid programme for the famine victims, Aids / cancer / stroke victims, AIDS victims and other patients who are terminally ill, innocent victims, All these people are innocent victims, victim of, victims of crime, the latest victims, Schools are the latest victims of cuts in public spending.

The real victims of the civil war are the children left without parents

a person who has been tricked, victims of, They were the victims of a cruel hoax, She's a fashion victim

survivor (n)

a person who continues to live, especially in spite of being nearly killed or experiencing great danger or difficulty, survivor of, Emergency help is needed for survivors of the earthquake., sole / only survivor, the sole / only survivor of the massacre, no survivors, The plane crashed in an area of dense jungle. There were no survivors, the last remaining survivor, A movie has been made about the last remaining survivor of the tribe, There were only three survivors. All other passengers were reported dead


someone who has been forced to leave their country, especially during a war, or for political or religious reasons, political / economic refugees, a refugee camp, Refugees were streaming across the border, Thousands of refugees have crossed the border looking for food and shelter