Sinkhole Swallows Up Resort Near Disneyland

September 27, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. infamous [IN-fuh-muh s] (adj.) – known or famous for something bad
Example: The rescuers were infamous for not being able to come on time during emergencies.

2. gobble [GOB-uh l] (n.) – to swallow a large piece in a quick manner
Example: The quicksand gobbled up the little bird that got caught in it.

3. cavity [KAV-i-tee] (n.) – a hollow space or a hole inside an object
Example: Sinkholes are cavities formed when the bedrock beneath the ground dissolves.

4. belongings [bih-LAWNG-ing, -LONG-] (n.) – things that a person owns
Example: When the fire broke out, the mother saved her baby and left all her belongings.

5. retrieve [ri-TREEV] (v.) – to bring back or to get back an object from another place
Example: Rescuers searched the collapsed building to retrieve the bodies of those who died.


Read the text below.

Last August, a huge sinkhole formed under a resort in Florida, causing a building to sink and another one to collapse.

Florida is infamous for giant sinkholes. In February this year, another sinkhole gobbled up Jeff Bush and his suburban home in Tampa. Unfortunately, Bush's body was never found.

Sinkholes occur because the bedrock beneath the ground already dissolves but the surface stays intact. This condition creates a cavity that eventually collapses over time. 

The center of the sinkhole is in a resort called Summer Bay Resort in Clermont, which is about 10 minutes away from Walt Disney World. People started noticing the occurrence of the sinkhole when a guest reported a window bursting. When a guard witnessed other windows breaking, he and other guards started evacuating the resort’s 35 guests before the whole building got swallowed up.

The sinkhole was about 60-foot (18.29 meters) wide and 15-foot (4.57 meters) deep. It has swallowed one of the resort’s buildings and half of another building.

The evacuation process was not easy for everyone in the resort. In fact, one family with an infant had to escape through the window because the door had already collapsed. Also, one woman, who was bathing when the incident happened, got out with just a pair of shorts. But fortunately, none of the guests were injured in the incident.

While everyone was safe, no one had enough time to gather his or her belongings. According to Paul Caldwell, president of the resort, their things might never be retrieved. Because of the lost properties, the resort arranged accommodations for all the affected guests.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         How would you react if you were in the same situation? Please explain further.
·         Would you book an accommodation in a place notorious for natural disasters? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Do you think the government should provide more funding for studying natural phenomena like sinkholes? Why or why not?
·         What natural disasters often occur in your country? How do you prepare for it?


September 27, 2013