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Read the passage carefully. Then choose the correct answer.
 
Natural disasters have become frequent occurences in the world today. Now and again, news of serious floodings, earthquakes and tsunamis stun us. Things are destroyed and countless lives are lost too. When incidences such as these take place, people wonder as to the cause(s) of these events. Could these disasters be prevented in the first place? In the race to become a developed country and a modern society, human beings have made tremendous changes to the environment. When humans start meddling with mother nature, the effects can be disastrous at times. Rapid development has caused many problems to humans and animals alike.

Everywhere we go, it is apparent that many areas are being developed to pave the way for modernisation. New roads, industrial areas, townships and housing areas are replacing jungles and hilly areas. In the process, countless trees have been cut down, jungles cleared and hilly areas flattened. It has been scientifically proven that when trees are gone, water can no longer be contained underground. The roots of trees that act as natural defences to hold water in the ground are no longer there to do their job. As a result, rainwater flows straight out to sea in a much shorter time, causing frequent flash floods to places that have never faced such problems before.

Development comes at a very high price. Animals and human lives are in danger. Many land areas are turned into housing areas, including scenic hills. Houses and apartments, some of them very highly priced, have been built on these scenic but unsafe hills. Without careful study, and over time, the unstable ground condition often caves in causing landslides that kill many people.

The clearing of land for all kinds of reasons has also led to the extinction of many wildlife species. In the first place, land development causes the destruction of many animal habitats. Animals now have to compete with humans for space and food. To survive, these animals are forced to move deeper into the jungles. Their sources of food have become scarce, thus threatening their survival. Smaller spaces and less food have led to the extinction of some species. Fifteen endangered animals and six critically endangered animals in Malaysia have been identified. The Malayan Tapir, the Malayan Tiger and the Asian elephant are three large mammal species that are on the endangered species list. Among the critically endangered ones are the black shrew, the Malayan water shrew, the Malayan roundleaf bat and the Sumatran rhinoceros.

It is obvious that many animals have been sacrificed in the name of development and modernisation. Indiscriminate human activities have led to the destruction of irreplaceable and priceless lives. There are laws to curb people from messing with our forests, polluting and doing things that can harm our environment. There are also laws to punish those who do so, but the laws do not seem to serve their purpose. It is the responsibility of each and every individual to preserve our fragile Earth. If we keep destroying it, we will soon lose all that we have.

     
    Using contextual clues, find a word with the same meaning as the following words from the passage
  1. contained
  2. highly priced
  3. scarce
  4. curb
     
    Answer the questions below based on the passage.
  1. Who are responsible for the destruction of our environment ?
  2. How does rainwater cause flash floods in areas where there are not many trees ?
  3. Give two reasons why some animals have become extinct.
  4. Has development brought about positive effects to our environment ? Give reasons to support your answer.
     
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    Answers
     
1.   stored/ kept
2.   expensive
3.   less plentiful
4.   reduce the chances of
     
1.  

Humans

2.  

Rainwater can no longer be contained underground by the roots of trees as there are no trees left.

3.  

a) Destruction of many animal habitats/ the clearing of lands for all kinds of reasons

b) Sources of food have become scarce

4.  

No. It causes frequent flooding, loss of human lives and extinction of animals.

   

 

 
 
 
 

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