The day the fog began to kill – level 2

04-12-1952

It’s the beginning of December 1952. There is a Christmas atmosphere in London. Fog also starts to come to London. Fog is normal in this part of the world, but the fog which starts to cover London at the beginning of December is different. It is thicker and darker than the fog before.

There are several reasons for this fog. London has a population of almost 9 million and most of the people use low-quality coal for heating. Also, six months ago, trams were cancelled in London and they were replaced by diesel buses. Temperatures go down to zero and there is no wind.

On December 4, 1952, the fog is already so dark and thick that people can see only 2 meters. Drivers go very slowly. The air is full of dangerous chemicals. People in the streets must cover their faces.

On the third day, it’s possible to see only half a meter. Traffic stops completely. Only the underground is working. People who go out can’t see their own feet. Cinemas and theatres cancel performances because the fog starts to go inside the buildings.

After 5 days, the wind finally comes. When the air is clear again, people learn that the fog killed 4,000 people, usually children and older people who had problems with breathing.

These 5 days are the worst non-war catastrophe in the history of Great Britain.

Difficult words: atmosphere (a feeling), cover (to go over something and hide it), thick (difficult to see through), coal (a hard black mineral which people use to make heat), heating (a system for making a house warm), chemical (stuff that is inside natural and manmade things), performance (a play in the theatre).

What do you think about this day?

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