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It was the beginning of the wet season. After a tiring descent from the mountain, Daniel decided to spend a night at a chalet before continuing his journey home the next morning. There were not many mountaineers at that time because of the unfavourable weather conditions.

That night, Daniel was woken up by a loud roar of thunder. Suddenly, it dawned on him that there was a terrible storm outside. The sound of the howling wind echoed through an open window. As he was about to get up to close it, his bed started trembling. He screamed as the windows, walls and ceilings crashed around him without any warning. Seconds later, when the chaos had subsided, he tried to sit up but instead bashed his head against something hard. It felt like concrete. It was then, he realised with horror that the chalet had collapsed and he was trapped!

Not long after, he heard a rumbling, gushing sound. Water! Just then, a mixture of water and mud rushed through the gaps above his head, filling the small space. Instinctively, he knew that he was in the midst of landslide. Desperately, he tried to lift himself up but was unable to do so. Feeling completely helpless, he knew that he had no choice but to wait for help. Time seemed to pass very slowly and he was beginning to lose all his hope of ever being rescued. He thought of his loving wife and his baby son who would be waiting for his return.

It had been ten hours since his last meal and he was tired, hungry and thirsty. He knew he had to keep warm. He felt a cotton cover at the end of the bed. Stretching down, he ripped a piece of the material free. It just covered his stomach and thighs. Next, he found a jacket he had left on the bed and struggled into it, He felt warmer and more comfortable after that.

Meanwhile, rescue operations were underway. Eleven hours after the incident, workers and volunteers were still clearing the rubble - pieces of shattered concrete, furniture, bricks and timber. Firefighters crawled over the rubble and peered into gaps, yelling, "Rescue team above - can you hear me?" initially the only sounds were from the birds overhead and the gurgle of water beneath the rubble. Just as they were about to give up and leave that spot, suddenly they heard Daniel's faint voice, "Help! Help!" coming from beneath.

News of the survivor spread quickly and the recovery team worked tirelessly to save him. After an hour, workers exposed a huge slab of concrete just above Daniel. Through a jagged, half-metre-wide opening, they heard Daniel's voice sounded more clearly now. The rescuers realised he was just beneath them. They wriggled into a small chamber and began clearing more rubble. Soon they discovered another concrete slab two metres lower. After three hours digging, a rescuer's light lit up a crack in the lower slab.

Against the dim light, Tony, a fireman, saw a hand emerging through a crack. "There's someone down there," he shouted. The rescue workers started digging in that particular area immediately. They knew that they were racing against time. Despite feeling exhausted, they continued digging. After removing two boulders, they could hear a voice. Realising that they had to rescue the victim quickly, the team took prompt action.

The rescuers started cutting a hole through the slab above the victim, using a circular saw. Once that was done, the hole was now large enough for Jim, a paramedic, to enter. Jim quickly slid into the cavity to prepare his patient so that he could be moved to safety. He carefully placed a harness around Daniel's waist, making sure that Daniel would not feel any discomfort. He gently pulled Daniel until his head was just beneath the hole. Then, all the other rescue workers above the hole slowly hoisted Daniel to the surface.

Just before he was airlifted to a nearby hospital, Daniel thanked the rescue team for having saved his life. The doctors at the hospital were astonished to discover that he suffered only dehydration and superficial cuts. Daniel was hospitalised for three days. Despite the ordeal he had gone through, he had this to say: "Mountain-climbing has always been my passion. I can't wait for my next mountain-climbing expedition."

   

Answer the following questions using complete sentences

 

1.

From paragraph 1, why were there not many mountaineers at the chalet ?

 

2.

From paragraph 2,

a) what caused Daniel to wake up ?

b) what made Daniel realise that the chalet had collapsed ?

 

3.

a) From paragraph 3, which words means 'without having to think' ?

b) From paragraph 4, what two things did Daniel use to keep himself warm ?

 

4.

a) From paragraph 5, why do you think the firefighters looked into cracks and yelled ?

b) From paragraph 8, who was the patient ?

 

5.

"Mountain-climbing has always been my passion. I can't wait for my next mountain-climbing expedition." Based on this statement, how would you describe Daniel's character ? Give a reason to support your answer.
 

6.

Daniel was trapped in his room during a landslide. Based on the passage given, write a summary on what the rescuer did to save him.

Your summary must not be longer than 130 words, including the 10 words given below

Rescue workers and volunteers started by clearing the rubble and ...

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Answers
 

1.

They were not many mountaineers at the chalet because it was the start of the rainy season.
 

2.

a) A loud thunder woke him up.

b) He realised the chalet had collapsed when his head bashed the ceiling as he tried to sit up.

 

3.

a) Instinctively

b) (i) a piece of cotton cover (ii) a jacket

 

4.

a) They did that because they wanted any survivors trapped to know that rescue workers were there to help them.

b) It was Daniel

 

5.

Characteristic: Strong-minded. Reason: Even though he nearly lost his life in pursuit of his passion, he was still determined and enthusiastic to pursue mountain-climbing and wanted to go on another expedition.
  6.

Rescue workers and volunteers started by clearing the rubble and looking for survivors. First, they heard sounds of birds and water gurgling. then, they heard a faint call for help. The rescuers worked to save Daniel. An hour later, they heard his voice clearly. Realising Daniel was just beneath them, they cleared more rubble to discover another slab. They dug for three hours until a rescuer's light lit up a crack revealing Daniel's hand emerging. They started digging there despite feeling exhausted. After removing two boulders, they heard a voce. They cut a hole through the slab above Daniel so a paramedic could enter. He carefully place a harness around Daniel's waist and pulled him so his head was just beneath the hole. Then, he was hoisted to the surface. (130 words)

 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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