The day of the oil disaster in Alaska – level 3

24-03-1989

The Gulf of Alaska was a place with beautiful nature, surrounded by glaciers. The Gulf was home to seals, killer whales, and many species of fish.

There were also giant tankers sailing through the Gulf, transporting oil from Alaska to Los Angeles, California. On March 24, 1989, one of these tankers crashed into a coral reef. The tanker which was loaded with more than 100,000 tons of oil started leaking.

An area of 21 thousand square kilometers was affected. The oil covered the bodies of many animals that lived in the Gulf.

Ecologists came to the disaster area and tried to help as many animals as they could. They built improvised rescue stations on the shores of the Gulf and tried to clean the wild animals from the oil. Unfortunately, they were able to help only a minimum of them. TV stations all around the world showed pictures of dying animals that couldn’t be helped. It was a devastating sight. The oil killed 250,000 birds, 300 seals, 20 killer whales, and millions of fish.

Difficult words: surround (to be around something), glacier (a large mass of ice in the mountains), reef (a line or rocks made of coral), leak (when liquid goes from a something through a hole), sight (something that you can see).

What do you think about this day?

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