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Waterfall at Cherrapunji


1. Cherrapunji (say chur-uh-POON-jee) is a town in northeast India which receives one of the highest amounts of rainfall per year in the world. However, most of this rainfall occurs during a single season. During the dry season, people are challenged to walk great distances for water. Because of the washouts caused by heavy rains, drivers are cautioned to steer around potholes which are so large that a car could be tipped to one side.

2. Let's clarify why such heavy rains occur in this place. Cherrapunji receives rain from the Indian summer monsoon. The monsoon is a very heavy rainfall that happens in many warm places in the world. Monsoon clouds float over the large plains of a nearby country, Bangladesh, for about 400 kilometers. Then the clouds reach hills and suddenly rise. When the clouds rise suddenly, they cool, and vapors condense into rain. 

3. When the rain falls, it blurs everything. Drivers have to honk their horns constantly because they cannot see if people are walking by the road. It crushes the soil. Many plants cannot survive in Cherrapunji because of these heavy rains. On the other hand, there are many beautiful waterfalls, and there are interesting plants here that are not found anywhere else.

4. Mostly, the rain at Cherrapunji falls in the morning. This could be on account of two masses of air coming together. During the monsoon months, winds come from the east/northeast, but other winds from the region mostly come from the south. These two wind systems become trapped in the valley at night and rise swiftly in the morning.

Answer the questions:

1. What is the main idea of this passage?

A. The rain at Cherrapunji mostly falls in the morning.
B. There are many beautiful rainfalls at Cherrapunji, and people are always running from the rain.
C. Tourists travel to see Cherrapunji, a place of great rainfall, but they also look at waterfalls and local animals.
D. Cherrapunj is a town in India that receives a high amount of rainfall per year during the rainy season.

2. What is an INFERENCE, not a fact, from the story?

A. Rain almost never falls at night in Cherrapunji.
B. Winds blow from both the east and the south.
C. When the rain falls, it blurs everything.
D. Drivers have to use caution on the roads.

3. Why does the rain usually fall in the mornings?

A. Wind blows from the south and rises in the morning.
B. Wind blows from the east and gets trapped in the valley.
C. Winds from the east and south get trapped at night and rise in the morning.
D. Winds from the northeast and west get trapped in the valley at night and rise in the morning.

4. What is "the monsoon?"

A. A huge amount of clouds that bring rain.
B. A time of heavy rainfall.
C. A time when it rains a little bit.
D. A cold season in India.

5. What does this mean: "vapors condense into rain?"

A. clouds become thin and some rainfall comes
B. moisture in the clouds thickens and becomes rain
C. moisture gets thin and becomes air
D. moisture gets trapped in the valley and rises

6. Match the verbs to their definitions:

     blur                     a. to give difficulty
                caution                b. to push and destroy     
          challenge            c. to make hard to see
 clarify                  d. to make clear 
         crush                   e. to encourage safety

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answers: 1. d, 2. a, 3. c, 4. b, 5. b, 6. blur: c, caution: e, challenge: a, clarify: d, crush: b